WHO sounds alarm on 124 mil­lion obese chil­dren

Daily Sabah (Turkey) - - Lifestyle -

THE GLOBAL num­ber of ex­tremely fat chil­dren has reached 124 mil­lion, hav­ing mul­ti­plied ten­fold over the past 40 years, the World Health Or­ga­ni­za­tion (WHO) said on Wednesday, point­ing to food ad­ver­tis­ing and un­af­ford­able healthy food.

In the big­gest-ever epi­demi­o­log­i­cal study to date, the U.N. health agency and Im­pe­rial Col­lege Lon­don an­a­lyzed the weight of nearly 130 mil­lion chil­dren and teenagers to find out how bod­ies have changed since the mid-1970s.

Only 10 per­cent of the in­crease re­sulted from pop­u­la­tion growth, while 90 per­cent was due to an ac­tual grow­ing obe­sity prob­lem, ac­cord­ing to Im­pe­rial Col­lege Lon­don re­searcher Ma­jid Ez­zati.

In ad­di­tion to the 124 mil­lion obese chil­dren, there are 123 mil­lion chil­dren who are sim­ply over­weight.

In wealthy coun­tries, the rise in child obe­sity has halted in re­cent years, while rates still soar in de­vel­op­ing and emerg­ing economies such as China and India, ac­cord­ing to the study that was pub­lished in The Lancet journal.

“These wor­ry­ing trends re­flect the im­pact of food mar­ket­ing and poli­cies across the globe, with healthy nu­tri­tious foods too ex­pen­sive for poor fam­i­lies and com­mu­ni­ties,” Ez­zati said.

While Ez­zati called for gov­ern­ment reg­u­la­tions and taxes to pro­tect chil­dren from un­healthy, sugar-rich foods, WHO chronic dis­ease ex­pert Fiona Bull added that chil­dren should spend less time in front of dig­i­tal screens and more time do­ing sports.

“These data high­light, re­mind and re­in­force that over­weight and obe­sity is a global health cri­sis to­day, and threat­ens to worsen in com­ing years un­less we start tak­ing dras­tic ac­tion,” Bull said.

Ahead of the World Obe­sity Day, WHO re­leased some cru­cial data to draw at­ten­tion to this grow­ing health prob­lem.

Obe­sity world­wide has dou­bled be­tween 1980 and 2014, and most peo­ple live in coun­tries where be­ing over­weight and obese kills more peo­ple than be­ing un­der­weight. Ac­cord­ing to the re­cent data, at least 2.8 mil­lion peo­ple die each year as a re­sult of be­ing over­weight or obese. More than 1.9 bil­lion adults were over­weight in 2014, and 600 mil­lion were obese which trans­lates to 39 per­cent of adults be­ing over­weight, and 13 per­cent obese. Obese peo­ple are more likely to have a seden­tary job, live in cities, and use trans­port that in­volves lit­tle phys­i­cal ac­tiv­ity.

Child­hood obe­sity, on the other hand, is one of the most se­ri­ous pub­lic health chal­lenges of the 21st cen­tury. In 2014, about 41 mil­lion chil­dren un­der five years old were over­weight or obese.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Turkey

© PressReader. All rights reserved.