Childhood obesity… What can we do to stop this situation?
It is urgently required that governments, media and the community in general grow aware of the serious public health problem caused by a disproportionate increase in childhood overweight and obesity, not only as major risk factors for developing Type 2 Diabetes, but also, as risk factors for developing high blood pressure, dyslipidemia, atherosclerosis, heart disease and other cardiovascular diseases that can occur in premature ages.
According to the International Obesity Task Force (IOTF), the incidence of childhood overweight and obesity has increased alarmingly throughout the world in recent years. America tops the list of continents with the highest prevalence of childhood obesity with 33%, followed by Europe with 20%, Asia 6% and Africa with only 3%. This indicates that in the United States, obesity has more than doubled since 2000, when the incidence was 15.3% and is now 33%.
Faced with this alarming situation, we must take action immediately to minimize the dramatic increase in obesity among children.
We need to concentrate all of our efforts to encourage children and young people to adopt healthy eating habits and increase the physical activity, so they can maintain a proper body weight, emphasizing on the importance of keeping them healthier and happy.
On the other hand, we can’t continue allowing big “Fast Food” chains to continue convincing our children and adolescents to eat their “junk food”, saturated with hydrogenated or trans fats and products dubiously processed, which compromise the health of those who consume it and are primarily responsible for this problem having reached pandemic proportions.
We should all be required to reverse this trend posed by an epidemic of overweight and obesity, especially among children, so we can leave a healthier world for our children.