Why this map is bad for our kids

Thursday, 12 October 2017, 11:08:13 PM. CHILDHOOD obesity has risen ten times in the past four years.

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Childhood obesity is spreading globally

CHILDHOOD obesity has risen ten times in the past four years.

New research, published in British medical journal The Lancet, looked at obesity trends in over 200 countries — showing a whopping 124 million boys and girls are too fat.

Interestingly, the research shows the obesity appears to have peaked among children in rich countries such as Australia and the United States.

However, youngsters in developing countries are increasingly packing on weight.

Globally, more children are still underweight rather than obese although the researchers think that will change by 2022 if trends continue.

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This map shows countries with the highest number of obese boys aged 5-19. Picture: NCD Risk Factor Collaboration Source: Supplied

The scientists in the United Kingdom. and at the World Health Organisation led an analysis of data from more than 2,400 studies that tracked the height and weight of about 32 million children from 5 to 19 years old.

They created models to estimate trends in body mass index, a measurement based on height and weight, from 1975 to 2016.

Among developed countries, researchers estimated that obesity rates among children and teenagers had recently plateaued at about 10 per cent in the United Kingdom and about 20 per cent in the United States.

According to the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare, about a quarter of Australian children aged between two and 17 are overweight or obese.

“This shows that something can be done about obesity, but it might be an exaggeration to call this ‘good news,”’ said Majid Ezzati, one of the study authors.

“These are still pretty high levels and we don’t want it to stay there, we want it to go down.”

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This map shows countries with the highest number of obese boys aged 5-19. Picture: NCD Risk Factor Collaboration Source: Supplied

Worldwide, obesity rates among children and teenagers went from less than one per cent in 1975 for both genders to about six per cent for girls and eight per cent for boys.

Scientists estimated that amounts to about 50 million girls and 74 million boys.

Last year, the heaviest children and adolescents were in Nauru, the Cook Islands and Palau — tiny islands in Micronesia and the South Pacific Ocean.

At the other end of the spectrum, the countries with the most underweight children were India, Pakistan, Bangladesh and Afghanistan.

Some experts said countries dealing with obesity should introduce or increase taxes on unhealthy foods and drinks, like the strategy current in place in the United Kingdom.

“If you’re not doing anything about obesity, you are just increasing the problems that come with it later, like diabetes,” said Tam Fry, chairman of Britain’s National Obesity Forum.

Professor Ezzati said countries need to make healthy foods more affordable, saying that junk foods are often the cheapest option.

“Right now it’s very hard to eat healthy if you’re poor,” he said.

— with Associated Press

Psychology of Dieting85183

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Psychology of Dieting

  • 10 Oct 2017

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    Article Why this map is bad for our kids compiled by www.news.com.au