More Than Half of Adults in Brazil Are Overweight or Obese, According to Kantar Health

More Than Half of Adults in Brazil Are Overweight or Obese, According to Kantar Health

New research from Kantar Health's National Health and Wellness Survey shows that indirect and direct costs due to health increase as BMI increases.

NEW YORK, Nov. 11, 2014—More than half of adults in Brazil are overweight or obese, with 34 percent having body mass index (BMI) levels that classify them as overweight (BMI ≥ 25 kg/m2 and BMI < 30 kg/m2) and 18 percent having BMI levels that classify them as being obese (BMI ≥ 30 kg/m2), according to new findings from Kantar Health's National Health and Wellness Survey (NHWS). The research will be presented today at the 17th Annual ISPOR (International Society for Pharmacoeconomics and Outcomes Research) European Congress in Amsterdam.

"Obesity is becoming a major national health concern in Brazil," said Shaloo Gupta, Manager, Health Outcomes Research, Kantar Health. "The high prevalence of obesity is associated with an increase in comorbidities such as hypertension, dyslipidemia, arthritis and type 2 diabetes in Brazil, and it also places a large burden on the healthcare system and is costly for patients."

Kantar Health's research found that obese adults in Brazil had greater presenteeism, or impairment due to health status while at work, than adults who have normal BMI. Activity impairment also increased significantly as BMI increased. The increased work productivity loss translates into higher indirect costs, or expenses incurred from reduction of work productivity, for obese adults compared with normal weight adults (R$333 per year for employed adults with normal BMI versus R$385 for obese class I respondents, R$395 for obese class II respondents, and R$458 for obese class III respondents).

Likewise, adults in Brazil with normal BMI reported significantly fewer provider and ER visits compared with obese adults. In line with higher resource use, total direct costs due to provider visits, ER visits and hospitalizations increased as BMI increased. Direct costs for private healthcare are R$1,722 per year for adults with normal BMI, rising to R$2,453 for adults with class III obesity.

"Our research provides evidence that health professionals should be aware that obese patients with even a modest amount of weight loss would benefit from a quality-of-life perspective," Gupta said.                             

About the National Health and Wellness Survey (NHWS)

The study's results were drawn from the 2011 and 2012 Brazil NHWS, a nationally representative, self-administered survey conducted annually. Topics covered include the health status, attitudes, behaviors and outcomes among adults 18 or older.

Kantar Health conducts the NHWS in the U.S., Europe, Asia and Latin America. The survey is the largest self-reported dataset in the healthcare industry.

About Kantar Health

Kantar Health is a leading global healthcare consulting firm and trusted advisor to many pharmaceutical, biotech, and medical device and diagnostic companies worldwide. It combines evidence-based research capabilities with deep scientific, therapeutic and clinical knowledge, commercial development know-how, and brand and marketing expertise to help clients evaluate opportunities, launch products and maintain brand and market leadership.

Kantar Health deeply understands the influence of patients, payers and physicians, especially as they relate to the performance and payment of medicines and the delivery of healthcare services. Its 600+ healthcare industry specialists work across the product lifecycle, from preclinical development to launch, acting as catalysts to successful decision-making in life sciences and helping clients prioritize their product development and portfolio activities, differentiate their brands and drive product success post-launch. Kantar Health is part of Kantar, the data investment management division of WPP. For more information, please visit