Governments must act to reverse alarming rise in childhood obesity, UN report warns

Baku, January 27, AZERTAC

Facing a global epidemic in childhood obesity with the number of overweight children under five on track to jump from 42 million to 70 million over the next decade, a United Nations report called on governments to reverse the trend by promoting healthy foods and physical activity.

The marketing of unhealthy foods and non-alcoholic beverages is a major factor in the alarming increase, which rose from 31 million in 1990 to 41 million in 2014, particularly in the developing world, with the greatest rise coming from low- and middle-income countries, according to the report by the Commission on Ending Childhood Obesity (ECHO).

“Increased political commitment is needed to tackle the global challenge of childhood overweight and obesity,” said Peter Gluckman, co-chair ECHO, which presented its report to UN World Health Organization (WHO) Director-General Margaret Chan.

“WHO needs to work with Governments to implement a wide range of measures that address the environmental causes of obesity and overweight, and help give children the healthy start to life they deserve,” he added.

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