Published: Thu, October 12, 2017
Global News | By Stacy Ballard

124mn obese kids worldwide, tenfold increase in 40yrs

124mn obese kids worldwide, tenfold increase in 40yrs

As for the United States, some countries in the Caribbean, such as Puerto Rico, same with the Middle East, including Qatar and Kuwait are next with the levels of obesity. Majid Ezzati of Imperial College, London, who coordinated ir work. Dr V Mohan, one of the secondary authors of the Lancet study, said, "Compared to 1975, there is no denying that obesity among children has increased across the world".

In another five years, the number of obese children in the world will outnumber the malnourished ones.

In 2016, re were still 192 million of m in moderate or severe underweight, adding authors, who analyzed data on 31.5 million of young people in 200 countries.

On the other end of the spectrum, South Asia - and especially India - had the world's highest prevalence of underweight children and teens.

"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".

BMI is a measure of a person's weight and body fat mass for their height, and indicates whether their weight is healthy. In 2016, the global number of moderately or severely underweight girls and boys was 75 million and 117 million respectively.

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But if the trend continues unchecked there will be more obese than underweight five to 19 year olds by 2022.

The most obese children (above 30%) were in some islands in Polynesia, with the United States trailing close by.

Not to single these countries out, though: "From 1975 to 2016, obesity prevalence increased in every country, although the increase was not statistically significant in some high-income countries", the researchers found.

According to the most comprehensive study on childhood and adolescent obesity to date, published on World Obesity Day by the WHO and Imperial College in London, obesity rates in children and teenagers rose from 1 percent in 1975 to almost 6 percent in girls and 8 percent in boys worldwide.

"There is always a need for policies that encourage food security in the country and the low-income households".

The researchers called for better nutrition at home and at school, and more physical exercise to prevent a generation from becoming adults at greater risk of diabetes, heart disease and cancers due to excessive weight.

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"If you're not doing anything about obesity, you are just increasing the problems that come with it later, like diabetes", said Tam Fry, chairman of Britain's National Obesity Forum.

By contrast, the rise in average BMI has accelerated in many parts of Asia. "Very few policies and programs are trying to make healthy foods accessible to poor families, such as complete cereals and fresh fruit and vegetables", he lamented in a statement accompanying study.

"Unaffordability of healthy food options to the poor can lead to social inequalities in obesity, and limit how much we can reduce its burden".

"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", commented Dr Fiona Bull of the WHO.

Worldwide, obesity rates among children and teenagers went from less than 1 per cent in 1975 for both genders to about 6 per cent for girls and 8 per cent for boys. Thus, most of the countries within the Pacific Islands that includes the Cook Islands and Nauru had the highest rates worldwide.

In Europe, girls in Malta and boys in Greece had the highest obesity rates, comprising 11.3% and 16.7% of the population respectively. The global annual cost of treating the consequences of obesity, such as heart and liver disease, diabetes, depression and many types of cancer, is estimated to reach $1.2 trillion by then, a report released by the World Obesity Federation on October 10 showed.

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More worrying is the staggering decline in independent, investigative journalism. Most of our media is owned by a handful of offshore billionaires with personal agendas. It costs a lot to produce, so many publications facing an uncertain future can no longer fund it.

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