World Obesity Day

World Obesity Day is an annual campaign that attempts to raise public awareness about the actions ordinary people can take to achieve and maintain a healthier weight. It was designed to combat the global obesity crisis, which has seen obesity rates nearly triple in the 40 years before this holiday was created.

Every year, this holiday runs according to a specific theme—a theme that helps to unify people’s actions on this day. For example, in 2020, the theme was “Everybody Needs Everybody,” and in 2022, the theme was “Everybody Needs to Act.” On this day, everyone from ordinary people to government agencies can use this day to fight obesity, either on a local or an international level.

The History of World Obesity Day

The first World Obesity Day took place on October 11th, 2015. The second one took place the following year and focused on the struggles of childhood obesity. The 2016 campaign aligned with the WHO Commission report on Ending Childhood Obesity that had previously been released. In 2020, the date of this holiday was changed from October to March 4th. This campaign has been observed on that day ever since.

Global Obesity Statistics

Below are some quick facts about global obesity. We place the following statistics below to give everyone an idea of how obesity has quickly become one of the deadliest health conditions in the entire world.

  • In 2017, almost 2 billion adults over the age of 18 were overweight. Of that number, approximately 650 million were considered obese.
  • In 2016, 13% of adults were obese, and 39% of adults were overweight.
  • In 2020, almost 40 million children under the age of 5 were considered overweight or obese.
  • In 2016, over 340 million children from the age of 5 to 19 were overweight or obese.
  • By WHO standards, an adult with a BMI (Body Mass Index) of 25 or more is considered overweight.
  • By WHO standards, an adult with a BMI of 30 or more is considered obese.
  • Between 1975 and 2015, the prevalence of obesity in the world nearly tripled.
  • A raised BMI is a major risk factor for cardiovascular diseases, musculoskeletal disorders, and some cancers.

Observing World Obesity Day

All around the world, governments and WHO organizations create special events and activities. These events include stories from real people about their struggles with obesity and statistics on global obesity levels.

This is also a day when people can take control of their own weight, and they can spread the news about this campaign through social media using the hashtag #WorldObesityDay.

When is it?
This year (2024)
March 4 Monday
Next year (2025)
March 4 Tuesday
Last year (2023)
March 4 Saturday
Health & Body