Tenfold increase in children obesity over the past 40 years

Obesity is a major and growing worldwide health issue particularly affecting children. If some of us may be tempted to ignore the problem and act as if the situation was not that serious, a recent study published in The Lancet and led by the World Health Organization is putting numbers on a trend that should have us all concerned.

The conclusion of the study is that worldwide children obesity has been multiplied by 10 from 1975 to 2016, and it seems that by 2022, there will be more obese than underweight children from 5 to 19 years old.

If BMI rise has recently flattened in Northern Europe, high-income english speaking countries and Asia-Pacific region, it has accelerated in east and south Asia for both sexes and southest Asia for boys.

The following graphics shows the evolution of obesity by region, over the past 40 years, for girls and boys.

Now let’s have a closer look at the evolution of the Body Max Index in the Middle East and North Africa region:

So what to do with that information? Shall we take it as a fatality? Certainly not. Each of us can take action and try to improve the situation at his own level.

Let’s all start with our own families, relatives and friends. It is more than ever time to educate ourselves and our children, clean their diet, encourage them to be more active on a daily basis, be more in contact with nature and, last but not least, limit the time they spend in front of screens (television, smartphones, tablets…) that prevent them from engaging in more active and beneficial activities.



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