World Health Organization report: Child and teen obesity soars tenfold worldwide in 40 years

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Pune Municipal Assistant Health Officer Anjali Sabane said the number of people living obesity has increased at an alarming rate, which is why the civic body has included such surgeries in the different health schemes it offers its employees. So we can't wait to deal with underweight, and then worry about overweight and obesity.

New research published Tuesday finds that while the obesity rate among children in rich countries may have peaked, kids in developing countries are increasingly putting on unhealthy pounds.

In the United Kingdom, one in every 10 young people aged five to 19, is obese.

Food giants are being targeted by the World Health Organisation in a major drive to tackle childhood obesity around the world.

What's also startling is that the researchers note that countries can quickly swing from being underweight to obese, due to an increase in food that might be energy-dense, but poor in nutrients.

The almost 200 million children classified as moderately or severely underweight also continue to pose a major public health challenge, the report's authors said.

British girls have the 73rd-highest obesity rate in the world and boys the 84th, down from 27th and 39th respectively in 1975.

In 2016, 192m young people were underweight - still significantly more than the number of young people who were obese, but that looks set to change.

The percentage of boys who were obese rose from 2.4% to 10.9%, while their numbers increased from 160,000 to 620,000.

There are now 10 times as many obese children and teens around the world than there were 40 years ago, and if current trends continue, there will soon be even more kids dangerously overweight than underweight, according to a new World Health Organization study.

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Restaurant chains have been accused of contributing to child obesity with some desserts containing the equivalent of nearly 20 spoons of sugar.

The impending sugary drink tax had already led to the food companies making changes, she pointed out.

More than four million British children are too fat, according to an worldwide study.

"We have wide and widening inequalities".

Co-researcher Dr Harry Rutter, from the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, said: "This is a huge problem that will get worse".

"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.

Tam Fry from the National Obesity Forum challenged the claim that childhood obesity had levelled off in the United Kingdom, pointing to the growing disparity between rich and poor.

"What we have failed to do is to properly address obesity which is a great disgrace a great scandal". "As the clock goes forward, it becomes more and more concentrated in South Asia and in the poorest pockets of Africa", Ezzati said.

Dr Alison Tedstone, chief nutritionist at Public Health England, said: "Our sugar reduction programme and the government's sugar levy are world-leading, but this is just the beginning of a long journey to tackle the challenge of a generation".

"Whilst education and information are important, deeper actions are needed to help us lower calorie consumption and achieve healthier diets".



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