Capital IdeasTM

Investment insights from Capital Group

Health Care
Investing in the fight against a worsening obesity epidemic
Laura Nelson Carney
Equity Investment Analyst
Judith Finegold
Equity Investment Analyst

Obesity has quickly reached global epidemic proportions over recent years with levels close to tripling since 1975.

Despite the hugely detrimental impact this is having on people’s health and growing burden on healthcare systems around the world, however, medical intervention in this area has been slow to develop. The reasons behind this range from limited efficacy of treatment options (both surgical and pharmacological) to outdated attitudes towards obesity.

Obesity rates (%) globally and across select countries

Obesity rates

But positive change across these areas means the growth potential in this part of the healthcare sector is close to being unlocked.

In this piece, we describe the opportunities and challenges in the obesity market today and the new wave of drug innovation from companies such as Novo Nordisk and Eli Lilly.


Risk factors you should consider before investing:

  • This material is not intended to provide investment advice or be considered a personal recommendation.
  • The value of investments and income from them can go down as well as up and you may lose some or all of your initial investment.
  • Past results are not a guide to future results.
  • If the currency in which you invest strengthens against the currency in which the underlying investments of the fund are made, the value of your investment will decrease. Currency hedging seeks to limit this, but there is no guarantee that hedging will be totally successful.
  • Risks may be associated with investing in fixed income, emerging markets and/or high-yield securities; emerging markets are volatile and may suffer from liquidity problems.

Laura Nelson Carney is an equity investment analyst at Capital Group, with research responsibility for pharmaceutical and biotechnology companies in Europe and Asia, as well as life sciences in Asia. She has seven years of investment industry experience and has been with Capital Group for three years. She holds a PhD in neurosciences from Imperial College London and a bachelor's degree in human biology from Stanford University. Laura is based in London.

Judith Finegold is an equity investment analyst at Capital Group with research responsibility for biotechnology and pharmaceutical companies in the US. She has six years of investment industry experience and joined Capital in 2021. Prior to Capital, Judith worked as a research analyst and portfolio manager at Fidelity International. Before that, she was a doctor within the NHS. She holds a PhD from Imperial College London, an MBA from INSEAD and a degree in medicine from the University of Cambridge and University College London. Judith is based in London. 

Past results are not a guarantee of future results. The value of investments and income from them can go down as well as up and you may lose some or all of your initial investment. This information is not intended to provide investment, tax or other advice, or to be a solicitation to buy or sell any securities.

Statements attributed to an individual represent the opinions of that individual as of the date published and do not necessarily reflect the opinions of Capital Group or its affiliates. All information is as at the date indicated unless otherwise stated. Some information may have been obtained from third parties, and as such the reliability of that information is not guaranteed.

Capital Group manages equity assets through three investment groups. These groups make investment and proxy voting decisions independently. Fixed income investment professionals provide fixed income research and investment management across the Capital organization; however, for securities with equity characteristics, they act solely on behalf of one of the three equity investment groups.