WHO: Childhood obesity up tenfold for the past four decades

The population of obese children and adolescents worldwide has risen tenfold in the past four decades, which has become a global health crisis that threatens to worsen unless drastic actions are taken, the World Health Organisation (WHO) warned.

On the occasion of World Obesity Day, the WHO and Imperial College London released their latest study on childhood and adolescent obesity worldwide, which was published in the medical journal The Lancet.

It analysed weight and height measurements from nearly 130 million people aged over five years, including 31.5 million 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.

Meanwhile, more than 1,000 contributors participated in the study which looked at body mass index and how obesity has changed worldwide from 1975 to 2016.

The figures show that the obesity rates in the world's children and adolescents increased from less than one %, or some five million girls and six million boys, in 1975 to nearly six % in girls (50 million) and nearly eight % in boys (74 million) in 2016.

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