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Atlas of Childhood Obesity, provides the latest estimates of infant, child and adolescent obesity prevalence in 191 countries. According to atlas, the numbers of school-age children and adolescents aged between 5-19 living with obesity is predicted to rise from 158 million by 2020, 206 million by 2025 and 254 million by 2030.

The first Atlas of Childhood Obesity published recently by World Obesity Federation

with the help of World Health Organization and UNICEF. World Obesity Federation decleared that obesity is a major threat not only for adults but also for children. It is launched as

UN agencies are compiling a mid-term review of progress on the United Nations Decade of Action on Nutrition (2016-2025) and discussed at the United Nations General Assembly.  

It also provides estimates of the prevalence and numbers of infants, children and adolescents, living with obesity  along with an estimate of the probability of achieving the World Health Organization (WHO) target of ‘no increase in obesity prevalence by 2025’ on the assumption that present trends continue.

Five years ago, WHO endorsed 9 global goals to be achieved by 2025 in order to live in a healthier world. The highlighted topics were about obesity, cardiovascular diseases, cigarette dependance, physical activity, salt and alcohol use, heart attack and stroke, blood pressure and access to drugs. WHO warned the authorities and asked each country to prepare their Global Action Plan for Noncommunicable Diseases (NCD)

The most important warning was about obesity: The increase in diabetes and obesity should be stopped. Effective projects should be carried out especially for USA and European countries which cannot control obesity.

 

Figures grow exponentially

The Childhood Obesity Atlas has shown that nothing has been done so far to achieve the  2025 obesity goal! The prevalence of obesity will continue to rise rapidly if no preventions can taken. The number of obese babies, school age children and adolescents expected to reach 150 million by 2030 is exceed 250 million. The number of obese children between the ages of 5-19 will reach 158 million by 2020,206 million by 2025 and 254 million by 2030.

 

What about Turkey?

China, India, the United States, Indonesia, Brazil, Egypt, Mexico, Nigeria, Pakistan and South Africa are the top 10 countries which have more than a million school-aged and adolescent obese children by 2030. Turkey is ranked 13th on the list. In our country, 3 million 389 thousand 941 children, aged between 5 and 19 are expected to be obese by 2030.

Number of obese children in countries by 2030 (5-19 years)

  • China: 61.987.920
  • India: 27.481.141
  • United States: 16.986.603
  • Indonesia: 9.076.416
  • Brazil: 7.664.422
  • Egypt: 6.818.532
  • Mexico: 6.550.276
  • Nigeria: 6.020.182
  • Pakistan: 5.412.457
  • South Africa: 4.146.329
  • Bangladesh: 3.555.050
  • Iraq: 3.477.305
  • Turkey: 3.389.941

 

Report cards of countries

The ‘Childhood Obesity Atlas’ also showed that 191 countries participating in the survey could not achieve WHO’s goal of stopping obesity. The organization scored countries by looking at whether they have any policies on children’s foods and if they carrying out projects to increase physical activity.

Afghanistan, Bangladesh, China, India, Italy and Greece have no chance of reaching WHO 2025 goals. Turkey’s chance is only % 2. Here are some countries with the highest rates: Japan (% 44), Belgium (% 42), Denmark and England (% 39), Portugal (%26), Finland (% 24), Australia and Sweden (% 23), France (& 21), Norway (% 19), Germany (% 18), USA (% 17) Canada and Switzerland (% 16).

 

What do the numbers say about our future?

The figures show that the number of obese children and adults will increase in the future unless we change our eating habits and behaviors.

 

How can we protect our children?

We can protect our children in two ways. First, create healthy eating habits at home and minimize the routine of eating out. Second, improve his/her moving ability.

 

Is there a global solution to prevent obesity?

In order to take big steps, governments must act. Generally limiting the consume of food and drink is the best way to prevent obesity. Common policies can be carried out with World Health Organization and UNICEF to raise the awareness.

 

What to do in Turkey?

Projects can be developed with municipalities to increase awareness. There may be more walking and sports areas in the environment we live in. Experts can warn people about healthy eating styles. Non-governmental organizations can set up health camps to guide and treat obese people.

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