Worldwide, more than 200 million children and teens are overweight, including more than 75 million young people who are considered obese. However, new information suggests those numbers may be even higher just a decade from now.
The World Obesity Federation has released a new report predicting that by the year 2025, the number of overweight youth between the ages of 5 and 17 may reach about 268 million. Of that number, roughly 91 million are likely to be obese.
“These forecasts should sound an alarm bell for health service managers and health professionals, who will have to deal with this rising tide of ill health following the obesity epidemic,” said study co-author Dr. Tim Lobstein in a recent news release. Included in the report are estimates of a corresponding rise in obesity-linked conditions such as high blood pressure, type 2 diabetes, and fatty liver disease.
As part of their Global Action Plan for the Prevention and Control of Noncommunicable Diseases, the World Health Organization (WHO) hopes to alter our current course with guidelines aimed at preventing a further increase in global obesity rates. The WHO plan includes strategies such as promoting a healthy diet, strengthening national food and nutrition policies, promoting physical activity, and better monitoring when it comes to the marketing of foods to children.