Child Obesity Is Now a Worldwide Problem
Kids in developed countries are gaining weight.
An American health problem is going worldwide, according to the World Health Organization.
A total of 6.2 percent of kids in developed countries are obese or overweight, the WHO said in a statement reported on the website www.webmd.com. By 2020, the figure is expected to be 9.2 percent. And the percentage of kids in developing countries who are overweight or obese is expected to rise during the same time.
In concrete figures, 43 million kids worldwide weigh too much, the organization said. The number is expected to increase to 60 million over the next decade. Regions that had particularly high percentages of overweight or obese kids included North Africa and South Central Asia.
An estimated one of every three children in the United States is obese.
The WHO researchers, whose findings were published in The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, said that countries should start developing early-assessment programs, even in children as young as six months, and that families should receive nutritional counseling as well.
Obesity is linked to a number of serious illnesses, including diabetes and heart disease. The researchers said that a continuing rise in the number of overweight or obese children could have “enormous implications” for health-care costs in developing countries –and that could hinder their economic development. (webmd)
Jane Farrell is a senior editor at BettyConfidential.