Future looks sick for fat kids

June 15, 2017

According to researchers the number who are obese has risen by almost 50 per cent since the late 1990s and the figures for overweight youngsters is expected to grow by 1.3 million a year to a total of 26 million across the EU in four years.

That equates to more than one-third of the child population, says the Current estimates predict the number of obese school children in Europe will reach 6.4 million by the year 2010 if present trends continue.

Changes in diet, a decrease in physical activity and too much time spent in front of computer or television screens have been blamed for the growing number of overweight children worldwide.

Professor Philip James, chairman of the International Obesity Task Force, the research and advocacy arm of the IASO, says the problem is not confined to Europe.

He says North America, Europe and part of the Western Pacific have the highest prevalence of overweight children at about 20-30 percent.

The problem of obesity in schools has been described by the U.S. surgeon general as "every bit as threatening as the terrorist threat".

Lobstein says a reduction in the consumption of extra empty calories in high fat and high sugar good products, needs to be seriously addressed and much more must be done to improve children's opportunities to be active.

The findings are published in the first edition of the International Journal of Pediatric Obesity.