The majority of the population, and one in five children, are overweight or obese in the OECD area. A nearly tenfold variation in rates of obesity and overweight is observed across OECD countries. The obesity epidemic has spread further in the past five years, but rates have been increasing at a slower pace than before. Obesity and overweight have been virtually stable, or have grown modestly, in Canada, England, Italy, Korea, Spain and the United States, but have increased by a further 2-3% in Australia, France, Mexico and Switzerland. The economic crisis is likely to have contributed to further growth in obesity. Social disparities in obesity persist, and have increased in some countries.
A growing number of countries have adopted policies to prevent obesity from spreading further. Mexico, for instance, has launched one of the most comprehensive government strategies to address the problem in 2013, including awareness-raising, health care, regulatory and fiscal measures. Several countries have developed multi-stakeholder frameworks, involving business and civil society actors in the development of public health policies. Evaluations of the effectiveness of these initiatives are only beginning to emerge.
Released on May 27, Obesity Update 2014 presents an update of analyses of trends and social disparities in obesity originally presented in OECD’s report “Obesity and the Economics of Prevention: Fit not Fat”, published in 2010.
Further information is available in the country notes issued in 2010 for the release of "Obesity and the Economics of Prevention: Fit not Fat".
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OECD Obesity Update 2012
2012 Country Facts
The Economics of Prevention
Obesity and the Economics of Prevention: Fit not Fat