Obesity is a problem for children and adults

Key facts

  • Worldwide obesity has nearly tripled since 1975.While just under 1% of children and adolescents aged 5-19 were obese in 1975, more 124 million children and adolescents (6% of girls and 8% of boys) were obese in 2016.
  • In 2016, more than 1.9 billion adults, 18 years and older, were overweight. Of these over 650 million were obese.
  • 39% of adults aged 18 years and over were overweight in 2016, and 13% were obese.
  • Most of the world’s population live in countries where overweight and obesity kills more people than underweight.
  • 38 million children under the age of 5 were overweight or obese in 2019.
  • Over 340 million children and adolescents aged 5-19 were overweight or obese in 2016.
  • In 2018, there were over 40 million obese children under the age of 5 in the world, according to official data.
  • Overweight and obesity are linked to more deaths worldwide than underweight. Globally there are more people who are obese than underweight – this occurs in every region except parts of sub-Saharan Africa and Asia.
  • Obesity is preventable.

The fact is that life in the 21st century is very fast and communication between continents takes place in milliseconds. It is also a fact that today there is unlimited access to and availability of educational, recreational, informative and entertaining information. The fact is that today the whole world is run by high speed telecommunications. Due to these facts, bad habits are easily adopted in all age groups. All strata of society are therefore affected by lack of exercise and a diet guided by commercial content. Both children and adults are affected by these problems.

The highest obesity rates are recorded in developing countries. In these countries, the increase in morbidity was 30% due to the increase in consumption of processed and commercially promoted food. 9.4% of children under the age of 5 in the United States are obese. Obesity also tends to grow with growing up. In the United States, 20.6% of young people are obese between the ages of 12 and 19. The main factors are known bad eating habits and lack of physical activity. Other factors are genetics, psychological causes and socio-economic causes. Obesity increases the risk of many diseases in later life (type 2 diabetes, high cholesterol, high blood pressure, insomnia and problems in the development of bones and joints). Obesity rate is associated with depression and anxiety, learning problems and problems with self-confidence during adolescence.
How to properly prevent (eliminate) obesity?

  1. Nutrition – that is why experts recommend parents and the primary environment in which children grow and live the so-called systematic introduction of quality foods in children’s diets – This means a gradual restriction of fast and spicy (or oversalted) foods, drinks with too much sugar and all foods containing flavor enhancers. It is not desirable to make an intensive change in diet and impose a healthy diet. If you prefer food with additives, it is enough to start using natural alternatives. Over time, the result will be a healthy diet for children and adults. Artificial sugars can be replaced with honey or sweet fruit. Vegetables should be eaten daily. A monotonous menu could become varied and multicolored.
  2. Physical activity – is most encouraged in contact with nature and the natural environment. Children need to be provided with creative activities in a natural environment. This method improves balance and stimulates metabolism. So-called forced exercise indoors (lack of light and natural visual-motor stimulation) most often results in early withdrawal from exercise or aversion to exercise.

Source: http://www.who.int

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  1. When we were kids, we’d be outside playing at every opportunity with the neighbourhood kids…playing football or cycling or climbing trees or playing hide and seek…now kids are more likely to stay inside with their computer games and social media…whilst snacking on processed junk food…

    Liked by 1 person

    • Dear Jim,

      Thank you very much for your great comment. You’ve just explained my childhood as well. Great outdoor games we’ve played (playing hide and seek, playing orange and lemon, climbing trees and exploring all around us, neighbor’s gardens for example etc. Those were the great and golden years of our lives. But we still have memories and some photos. Wishing you all the best. Amela

      Liked by 1 person

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