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Novo Nordisk’s Revolutionary Obesity Drug

Global Equities

BNP Paribas Asset Management

Key Insights

  • In 2016, the World Health Organization (WHO) concluded that overweight in humans had tripled since 1975, seeing that 1.9 billion adults aged 18 years or older were overweight, and of these about 650 million were obese.
  • Obesity-related complications are not just a challenge to the individual – they represent a challenge to society in general.
  • The development of a new ground-breaking drug will create attractive opportunities for Novo Nordisk.

In 2016, WHO concluded that overweight had tripled since 1975. Worldwide, 1.9 billion adults aged 18 years or over were overweight; of these about 650 million were obese. This is a frightening trend for the world’s adult population, and the situation is even worse for children and adolescents. The percentage of overweight/obese children/adolescents increased from 4% in 1975 to 18% in 2016.

Overall, about 13% of the world’s adult population was obese in 2016. In 2019, an estimated 38.3 million children under the age of 5 years were overweight or obese. Once considered a high income country problem, overweight and obesity are now on the rise in low- to middle-income countries, particularly in urban settings. In Africa, the number of overweight children under 5 has increased by 24% since 2000. Almost half of the children under 5 who were overweight or obese in 2019 lived in Asia. These are all facts from the latest WHO publication on obesity. So obesity is not only a problem in the Western World, like in the USA and the UK, but will become an even bigger problem for the developing countries in the future.

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