Overweight and obesity prevention

  • Unhealthy diets are responsible for 11 million preventable deaths globally per year
  • The worldwide prevalence of obesity nearly tripled between 1975 and 2016
  • Most of the world's population live in countries where overweight and obesity kills more people than underweight


Once considered a problem for high-income countries, overweight and obesity are now on the rise in low- and middle-income countries, creating a double burden of disease caused from both underweight and overweight.

While these countries continue to deal with problems of infectious diseases and undernutrition, they are also experiencing a dramatic surge in non-communicable disease (NCDs) risk factors, such as overweight and obesity.

In the Pacific – where NCDs are responsible for 80 per cent of all deaths – three out of four adults are considered obese, leading to disastrous consequences to people and economies throughout the region.

To stem the rapidly growing overweight and obesity burden – and to meet global commitments, including the UN Sustainable Development Goals – governments must utilise law to shape people’s choices and the environments around them.

Implementing evidence-based policies that make regular physical activity and healthier dietary choices available, affordable and easily accessible to all people is vital to mitigate the burden, promote health and protect lives.

Our contribution

  • Our alumni have worked on introducing a number of laws and policies such as Sugar-Sweetened Beverage taxes and other regulatory measures around the world, including Malaysia, Solomon Islands, and the Philippines.
  • We have strengthened knowledge around the role of law to prevent NCDs within civil society organisations, co-organising events and delivering keynote presentations on the topic.
  • We provide strategic advice to organisations such as the World Cancer Research Fund Policy Advisory Group, contributing to the Building Momentum Series Reports.

Our publications