Oct 28, 2019

Obesity in children

Around the world, children are getting fatter.

The World Obesity Federation has released its findings from a study of 196 countries worldwide. In their ‘Atlas of Childhood Obesity’, the WOF forecasts that 250 million children and adolescents will be clinically obese by 2030. It currently stands at 150 million. The predictions are based on current trajectories of obesity and risk factors in emerging economies.

According to this report, China will account for the biggest number of obese children – nearly 62 billion – with 32% of all Chinese children between 5 and 9 years being clinically obese. It is followed on the list by India (27.4 million) and the US (16.9 million).

In the UK, one third of all children leaving primary school are currently overweight. By 2030, it is expected that 12% of all children aged five to nine, and 10% of 10-19 year-olds will be clinically obese.

Public Health England warned that, by 2024, nearly 40% children in England could be overweight or obese by age 11, along with 34% of adults.

UNICEF’s ‘State of the world’s children 2019’ report demonstrates that malnutrition at both ends of the scale – obesity and hunger – is driven by urbanisation, globalisation and ‘a broken food system’. While obesity is on the rise in many regions of the world, hunger is on the rise in almost all African subregions, Latin America, the Caribbean and Western Asia.

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