Child and Teen Obesity Rates Are Increasing Across the Globe

Child obesity rates are increasing in many high-income European countries including the UK.  A New study provides an overview about how much the relationship children have with food and weight globally.

The child obesity rates are accelerating at an alarming rate in many countries, lead researcher Prof Majid Ezzati from Imperial College London says. One in every five children on the planet is either obese or overweight, according to research.

The rate of obese children has increased more than tenfold in the past four decades from 6 million boys in 1975 to 74 million in 2016 and from 5 million girls in 1975 to 50 million in 2016.

The analysis conducted by World Health Organization includes data on around 129 million children ages 5 to 19 in 200 countries.

However, in some parts of the world, especially in the poorest corners, there are still more children who remain reasonably underweight.

A researcher at the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicin, Harry Rutter said, “We have wide inequalities. Even though we may see some signs of improvement, we cannot be complacent, and we need to ramp up our actions much more significantly to act across the life-course and across all of society.”

While obesity is associated with various serious issues and some cancers, being underweight also can carry serious consequences. It can lead to increase higher risk of infectious disease and cognitive issues.

To reduce obesity rates, there are some measures that can work such as restricting marketing of unhealthy foods to children, sugar taxes, and policies to increase physical activity at schools.