A comprehensive study found that cases of childhood obesity jumped to 124 million last year, which represents a tenfold increase than the levels reported for 1975 – 11 million. In 2016, around 213 million kids and teens had weight problems, but they were not yet considered obese.
The study was published this week in the journal Lancet.
Researchers also found the highest obesity rates to affect populations from Nauru and the Cook Islands, in the Pacific Islands. In those areas, 30 percent of children are obese. In the U.S., Middle East, and the Caribbean, obesity rates among kids and adolescents currently stand at 20 percent.
Lead author and Imperial College London professor Majid Ezzati, who specializes in global environmental health, explained that obesity rates rose tenfold worldwide especially in low- and middle-income nations.
Ezzati found that, in the developed world, obesity rates haven’t budged in recent years, but they soared in South and East Asia. The professor underlined that nowadays kids become fat at the age of five, which was nearly unheard of two generations ago.
Obesity Still Rampant in the Developed World
For the research, 1,000 scientists reviewed data on almost 130 million participants, of whom 31 million were aged 5 to 19. Researchers were interested in the height, weight, and obesity rates among children.
Childhood obesity soared in Asia and the developing world, researchers found. An adult is deemed obese if their body mass index (BMI) sits above 30. A healthy reading is within the 18.5-24.9 range.
In the U.S., one in five children are obese, while in the U.K., that figure is one in ten. Even though obesity has remained steady in the Western world, the numbers are still alarmingly high.
What’s more, a higher number of obese children mean that there will be more obese adults, which comes with a plethora of health consequences like high risk of diabetes, cancer, heart disease, and stroke.
Image Source: Pixnio