About Childhood Obesity

Captura de ecrã 2018-06-22, às 17.32.13

www.cioi-childhoodobesity.com

Childhood Obesity

Childhood obesity is one of the most serious public health challenges of the 21st century. The problem is global and is steadily affecting many low- and middle-income countries, particularly in urban settings. The prevalence has increased at an alarming rate. Globally, in 2016 the number of overweight children under the age of five, is estimated to be over 41 million. Almost half of all overweight children under 5 lived in Asia and one quarter lived in Africa.

Overweight and obese children are likely to stay obese into adulthood and more likely to develop noncommunicable diseases like diabetes and cardiovascular diseases at a younger age. Overweight and obesity, as well as their related diseases, are largely preventable. Prevention of childhood obesity therefore needs high priority.

The WHO Member States in the 66th World Health Assembly have agreed on a voluntary global NCD target to halt the rise in diabetes and obesity.

The prevalence of overweight and obesity in adolescents is defined according to the WHO growth reference for school-aged children and adolescents (overweight = one standard deviation body mass index for age and sex, and obese = two standard deviations body mass index for age and sex).

Consequences of an unhealthy lifestyle during childhood

Childhood obesity is associated with a higher chance of premature death and disability in adulthood. Overweight and obese children are more likely to stay obese into adulthood and to develop noncommunicable diseases (NCDs) like diabetes and cardiovascular diseases at a younger age. For most NCDs resulting from obesity, the risks depend partly on the age of onset and on the duration of obesity. Obese children and adolescents suffer from both short-term and long-term health consequences.

he most significant health consequences of childhood overweight and obesity, that often do not become apparent until adulthood, include:

  • cardiovascular diseases (mainly heart disease and stroke);
  • diabetes;
  • musculoskeletal disorders, especially osteoarthritis; and
  • certain types of cancer (endometrial, breast and colon).

At least 2.6 million people each year die as a result of being overweight or obese.

General recommendations:

  • increase consumption of fruit and vegetables, as well as legumes, whole grains and nuts;
  • limit energy intake from total fats and shift fat consumption away from saturated fats to unsaturated fats;
  • limit the intake of sugars; and
  • be physically active – accumulate at least 60 minutes of regular, moderate- to vigorous-intensity activity each day that is developmentally appropriate.