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Childhood obesity has increased tenfold in 40 years

11 October, 2017

Childhood obesity has increased tenfold in 40 years

New figures reveal there has been a tenfold increase in the number of children and adolescents with obesity since 1975. 

The study, published in The Lancet, states that in 2016, 124 million children and adults (aged five to 19) were obese compared to 11 million in 1975.

The authors added that if the post-2000 trends continue, there would be more obese than underweight five to 19-year-olds by 2022.

The study analysed weight and height measurements from nearly 130 million people aged over five years (31.5 million people aged five to 19, and 97.4 million aged 20 and older), making it the largest ever number of participants involved in an epidemiological study. 

Lead author professor Majid Ezzati, of Imperial College London’s school of public health, said: ‘Over the past four decades, obesity rates in children and adolescents have soared globally, and continue to do so in low- and middle-income countries.

‘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.’ 

She added: ‘The trend predicts a generation of children and adolescents growing up obese and at greater risk of diseases, like diabetes. We need ways to make healthy, nutritious food more available at home and school, especially in poor families and communities, and regulations and taxes to protect children from unhealthy foods.’

The striking statistics were released today (11 October), which is World Obesity Day. 

Another study, also released today, reiterates the serious obesity issue and reveals that there will be 2.7 billion overweight and obese adults by 2025.

The figures, which come from the World Obesity Federation, add that the likely global cost of medical care for these adults could be $1.2 trillion per year by 2025.

Read more on both studies here and here.

To keep up to date on the facts and how to support women who are obese, take a look at the available courses on i-learn.


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