Worldwide Child Obesity Rates Are 'Alarming' For The WHO

Child Obesity Figures Growing At ‘Alarming’ Rate, WHO Says

Child obesity is growing at an “alarming” rate, according to the World Health Organization. WHO formed a committee to look at the growing rate between 1990 and 2014, finding that 10 million more children under the age of 5 are either overweight or obese.

The figures are for around the world, where children from lower- or middle-income countries are more likely to fall into the categories. Almost 50 percent of the 41 million under 5s were from Asia, and another 25 percent from African countries, including Egypt, Botswana, and Libya, according to Reuters UK. Not only that, but Fortune reports that figures doubled in the 24-year period in Africa.

WHO Says Child Obesity Rising At 'Alarming' Rate
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There are various reasons for the shocking figures. The Ending Childhood Obesity (ECHO) committee set up by WHO made it clear that the children themselves cannot be blamed. Co-chairman Peter Gluckman said that 2-year-olds are not to blame for being lazy and overweight. However, he did not go as far as saying who is to blame. There are numerous circumstances surrounding the obesity problem around the world.

With so many children coming from developing nations, it suggests that education and access to healthy food are the main problems. The committee has agreed that the WHO needs to do more to be able to support the governments of nations where child obesity is such a problem. Families need better access to healthy foods and also need better education so they can make healthier choices for their children.

Social media shows a very different view of who is to blame for the growing child obesity issues. For some, the problem lies with the parents. They are the ones who make the choices regarding the food that children eat, and poor parenting can lead to children not getting enough exercise. Others have said that supermarkets and grocery stores are also to blame, along with manufacturers.

The truth in many countries is that unhealthy food is much cheaper to buy than healthy food. There are often more promotions on chocolate bars and crisps compared to fruit and vegetables. This is often because they are cheaper to manufacture and make a profit on. However, families, especially in developed nations, complain that it leads to overeating non-nutritious foods. This leads to obesity.

To combat this, there has been a call for a sugar tax. UK chef Jamie Oliver has called for it in the United Kingdom, building the support of other chefs, restaurant owners, and families in the country. More than 100,000 people signed an online petition, meaning that the topic had to be debated in the House of Commons. It was later decided that a tax should not be added because costs on families are already a burden.

The WHO Is Alarmed At Growing Child Obesity Rates
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Mexico has introduced a tax on sugary drinks, and it has led to a decrease in the consumption in the country. WHO supports the idea behind the sugar tax but has said that it will not solve the full child obesity issue. This is because there are so many other factors involved, and education into healthy lifestyles and more exercise is still a requirement for children.

Obesity was a growing concern around the world, and now child obesity is growing at an “alarming” rate. Overweight and obese children are more likely to be obese in adulthood due to making poor food choices. There are various health risks associated with being overweight or obese, including developing type 2 diabetes and heart disease. Social issues are also problems, as teenagers and adults are more likely to bully someone who is overweight. Those who are bigger are also more likely to have emotional and confidence issues. WHO says that the child obesity problem needs to be tackled now, and that means tackling the main reasons for it to occur.

[Photo by Kevin Frayer/Getty Images]

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