Research suggests one in five adults worldwide will be obese by 2025

Irish men already have the highest Body Mass Index in Europe

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Image: Anthony Devlin / PA Wire/Press Association Images

Ireland is set to become the most obese country in Europe within a decade.

Irish men already have the highest Body Mass Index (BMI), while Irish women rank third.

Research published in The Lancet medical journal suggests that within nine years, one in five adults worldwide will be obese.

It found that Irish men have soared to the 27th most obese in the world - up from a previous ranking of 63rd.

The research also found that Irish men are among the most overweight in Europe, only surpassed by the UK.

The worldwide study also found that more people on the planet are now obese than underweight.

The authors of the study write that, "if post-2000 trends continue, not only will the world not meet the global target for halting the increase in obesity, but also severe obesity will surpass underweight in women by 2025.

"Nonetheless, underweight remains a public health problem in south Asia and central and east Africa," they add.

Report author Professor Majid Ezzati does not think telling people that they are overweight will help.

He says that they are much more interested in what governments can do, adding that "it's really around the accessibility and affordability of healthy foods":