A1 Journal article (refereed)
Heterogeneous contributions of change in population distribution of body mass index to change in obesity and underweight (2021)

NCD Risk Factor Collaboration. (2021). Heterogeneous contributions of change in population distribution of body mass index to change in obesity and underweight. eLife, 10, Article e60060. https://doi.org/10.7554/elife.60060

JYU authors or editors

Publication details

All authors or editorsNCD Risk Factor Collaboration

Journal or serieseLife


Publication year2021

Publication date09/03/2021


Article numbere60060

PublishereLife Sciences Publications, Ltd

Publication countryUnited Kingdom

Publication languageEnglish


Publication open accessOpenly available

Publication channel open accessOpen Access channel

Publication is parallel published (JYX)https://jyx.jyu.fi/handle/123456789/74565


From 1985 to 2016, the prevalence of underweight decreased, and that of obesity and severe obesity increased, in most regions, with significant variation in the magnitude of these changes across regions. We investigated how much change in mean body mass index (BMI) explains changes in the prevalence of underweight, obesity, and severe obesity in different regions using data from 2896 population-based studies with 187 million participants. Changes in the prevalence of underweight and total obesity, and to a lesser extent severe obesity, are largely driven by shifts in the distribution of BMI, with smaller contributions from changes in the shape of the distribution. In East and Southeast Asia and sub-Saharan Africa, the underweight tail of the BMI distribution was left behind as the distribution shifted. There is a need for policies that address all forms of malnutrition by making healthy foods accessible and affordable, while restricting unhealthy foods through fiscal and regulatory restrictions.

Keywordsobesityoverweightunderweightmalnutritionbody compositionbody mass indexregional differencesinternational comparisonfaminelevel of incomefoodstuffshealthiness

Contributing organizations

Ministry reportingYes

Reporting Year2021

JUFO rating2

Last updated on 2024-03-04 at 20:06