Daily Star corrects error in reporting obesity deaths

6 September 2023
What was claimed

Obesity kills 2.8 billion people a year.

Our verdict

A World Health Organisation estimate put the number of deaths caused by being obese or overweight at 2.8 million, not billion.

The Daily Star published an article on 2 September that contained an incorrect figure for obesity deaths.

Mistaken reporting about health can lead to mistrust of science from the public, or lead to people making decisions based on incorrect information. 

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Obesity deaths

The print article said the medication used in a study “may signal an end to obesity, which claims 2.8billion lives each year”.

But this is over 40 times the total number of people who are estimated to have died worldwide in 2021 (the last year for which full data is available) from any cause. 

That year, the World Health Organisation estimated that “at least 2.8 million people [are] dying each year as a result of being overweight or obese”.

The error in the article appears to have been a typo, mistaking millions for billions. In response to our contact, the Daily Star issued a correction to say that the “figure should have read 2.8million”.

Featured image courtesy of brotiN biswaS

We took a stand for good information.

As detailed in our fact check, the Daily Star published a correction

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