WHO Study Sounds Alarm Over Childhood Obesity

  • WHO Study Sounds Alarm Over Childhood Obesity

WHO Study Sounds Alarm Over Childhood Obesity

The number of obese children and adolescents aged 5-19 has risen tenfold over the past four decades, reportsthe World Health Organization (WHO).Wednesday, October 11, is World Obesity Day. Moldova reported the lowest obesity rates in Europe.

Obesity causes increased risks of chronic diseases, such as diabetes, and cardiovascular diseases. Bullying and depression go hand in hand with childhood obesity.

The researchers pooled 2,416 studies looking at BMI and obesity to analyse data on 128.9 million participants around the world, including 31.5 million children and teenagers aged five to 19. Nauru had the highest prevalence of obesity for girls (33.4%), and Cook Islands had the highest for boys (33.3%).

Child and adolescent obesity were highest above 30 per cent in some islands in Polynesia, and were around 20 per cent or higher in the United States of America and some countries in the Middle East and North Africa such as Egypt, Kuwait, Qatar and Saudi Arabia and the Caribbean such as Bermuda and Puerto Rico. The first problems for these obese children are usually emotional or psychological.

Among high-income countries, the US had the highest obesity rates for girls and boys. And then this quite sharp rise in obesity.

Professor Majid Ezzati, a member of the team from Imperial College London, said: "While there have been some initiatives led by governments, communities or schools to increase awareness about childhood and adolescent obesity, most high-income countries have been reluctant to use taxes and industry regulations to change eating and drinking behaviours to tackle child obesity".

"We are seeing underweight continuing, it's going down slowly". This is already a reality in Mexico, Britain, and South Africa.

Taxation and tough restrictions on marketing of junk food should be considered, it said. He emphasized that poor people have a tough time at trying to eat healthily.

This leads to social inequalities in face of obesity and limits possibilities of reducing this burden, stresses researcher. And the problem is more than just physical.

This includes countries in East Asia, Latin America and the Caribbean which have experienced an increase in the consumption of energy-dense foods, especially highly processed carbohydrates, says the report from Imperial College London and WHO. Being underweight has been associated with higher risk of infectious diseases.

This means that almost 8 per cent of boys and almost 6 per cent of girls worldwide were obese in 2016, against less than one per cent for both sexes in 1975.

For girls, the tally swelled from five million to 50 million.

It may worry you that much of our mainstream press is increasingly reporting with a strong right-wing bias.

Unless active measures are taken to stop the epidemic, the WOF said that figure would reach $555 billion by 2025.

Nearly two-thirds of underweight children lived in southern Asia.

Although both issues require urgent action, more children are undernourished rather than obese. An additional 213 million were overweight in 2016. This amount for about 10 percent of the world's population.

The most underweight kids live in India, Pakistan, Bangladesh, and Afghanistan.

According to the Newspaper, It added that nearly two thirds of the world's children and adolescents, who are moderately or severely underweight, live in South Asia.The study, led by the Imperial College London (UK) and the World Health Organisation (WHO), was published ahead of World Obesity Day (October 11) in the Lancet.