The World Obesity Federation is urging governments to act as it predicts that more than half of the global population will be classified as obese or overweight by 2035.
Its new report says more than four billion people are affected, and rates are rising particularly fast among children.
It says low- or middle-income countries in Africa and Asia are the most likely to see the biggest increase.
Reasons include trends in dietary preferences towards highly processed foods, high levels of sedentary behaviour, weak policies governing food supply and marketing, and under-resourced health services to assist in weight management and health education.
The federation says the economic cost of obesity will reach US$4tn annually by 2035.
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