Thirty percent of the world's population is overweight, a number that could expand to 50 percent by 2030, according to a report by the McKinsey Global Institute. The obesity epidemic comes at a high price, add researchers, who estimate it costs the world $2 trillion annually.
"Obesity is a major global economic problem caused by a multitude of factors," reads the report.
"Today obesity is jostling with armed conflict and smoking in terms of having the greatest human-generated global economic impact."
The report's authors identified 74 interventions to help reduce the population's weight, including parental education, limiting the size of fast food portions, and expanding healthy food programs at workplaces and schools.
"If we reduce obesity to 1993 levels, where 15 per cent of the population were obese, we will avoid five million disease cases and save the NHS alone an additional $2.19 billion by 2034," the report estimated.