Huge jump in obesity among kids and teens

Huge jump in obesity among kids and teens

It brought together data from 2,416 studies, involving 128.9 million participants worldwide, which included 31.5 million children and adolescents aged 5-19 years, to estimate trends in the body mass index (BMI) in 200 countries.Excessive weight gain in childhood and adolescence is associated with a higher risk and early onset of chronic diseases, such as type 2 diabetes, worse psychosocial and educational outcomes, and lifelong harms since weight loss is hard to achieve. It analysed weight and height measurements from almost 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.

Dr Fiona Bull at WHO, said: "These data highlight, remind and reinforce that overweight and obesity is a global health crisis today, and threatens to worsen in coming years unless we start taking drastic action". In South Asia, approximately 20 per cent of girls and 28 per cent of boys were either moderately or severely underweight, which makes them more vulnerable to infectious diseases, and in the case of teen girls, more likely to have pregnancy complications.

In recent years, obesity rates have become more stable in high-income countries, including the US, but they continue to rise in low- and middle-income countries, Majid Ezzati, lead author of the study and professor at Imperial College's School of Public Health, said in a statement.

"While average BMI among children and adolescents has recently plateaued in Europe and North America, this is not an excuse for complacency as more than one in five young people in the USA and one in 10 in the United Kingdom are obese", said James Bentham, co-author of the paper.

If recent trends continue, researchers note, "child and adolescent obesity is expected to surpass moderate and severe underweight by 2022". Ezzati said countries need to make healthy foods more affordable, saying that junk foods are often the cheapest option.

In 2016, the number of obese children and teenagers rose to 124 million.

It also recommends at least 60 minutes of exercise per day and less screen time and other sedentary activities. Scientists estimated that amounts to about 50 million girls and 74 million boys. Conversely, the rise in high income countries has slowed and plateaued. "It continues to increase in other low and middle-income regions".

Oil Edges Up Ahead of OPEC Report
The price of Brent crude oil is now trading around $57.00 a barrel, having risen from six-month lows below $45 a barrel in June. Last year, average USA oil production was 8.9 million bpd, lower than the 2015 level of 9.4 million bpd.

Nauru was the country with the highest prevalence of obesity for girls (33.4%), and Cook Islands had the highest for boys (33.3%).

Obesity among young people in Europe and America has levelled off.

In Europe, girls in Malta and boys in Greece had the highest obesity rates, comprising 11.3% and 16.7% of the population respectively. 97 million of the world's moderately or severely underweight children and adolescents lived in India in 2016.

Obesity is one of the leading problems that the United States faces.

Dr Sophie Hawkesworth, from the Population Health team at Wellcome Trust, which co-funded the study, said: "Global population studies on this scale are hugely important in understanding and addressing modern health challenges".

OBESITY among children has soared from 11million to 124million worldwide since 1975, a study shows.

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