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Babies and children in poor countries who have problems to accessi healthy food are at the risk of obesity!

New research by World Health Organization has published in medical journal Lancet, revealed that malnutrition and obesity are the biggest problems of the world. According to the research, while the risk of obesity increases in 1 of every 3 low and middle income countries due to junk food and sugary drinks, the problem of malnutrition continues. Malnutrition and obesity problems have one common source: Poverty

The decrease in the number of greengrocers selling fresh vegetables and fruits and rapid rise of supermarkets lead to poor quality nutrition which cause Type 2 diabetes, high blood sugar, stroke and cardiovascular disease.

 

Poorest countries facing obesity

“We are facing a new nutrition reality,” says lead author Dr Francesco Branca, director of the department of nutrition for health and development at the World Health Organization. He continued as, “We can no longer characterise countries as low-income and undernourished, or high-income and only concerned with obesity. All forms of malnutrition have a common denominator, food systems that fail to provide all people with healthy, safe, affordable, and sustainable diets. All relevant policies and investments must be radically re-examined.”

Three decades ago, middle-income countries had both overweight and stunting. Now it was in the lowest income countries, including sub-Saharan Africa and south and east Asia. Obesity is universal, no country was exempt.

 

Abdominal obesity risk is increasing

Barry Popkin, professor of nutrition at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill School of Public Health, made this statement about the situtaion: “Every day at least a third of infants are getting junk food and beverages. Poor weaning foods and even good weaning foods are being replaced by junk food. The drive to feed underweight children has inadvertently contributed to the problem. Strategies have focused on getting more calories into hungry children, without ensuring that they grow up eating and getting a taste for the right sort of food. Stunted children who gain weight rapidly may lay down abdominal fat which will predispose them to obesity-related diseases in later life, such as type 2 diabetes, heart attacks and strokes.”

According to 2014 data, there are 1.9 billion people (18 years and over) are overweight worldwide. 600 million of them are obese. 42 million children under the age of 5, overweight and obese. 156 million children have developmental delays (weaker and shorter than their average). 50 million children are too thin for their height.

Helping children to gain their ideal weight, brings two different outcomes to the situation. In short term, they gain wait but they face obesity and related disease in long term. The problem of malnutrition in low-income countries is tried to be solved with high-calorie foods sold in markets in almost every village. This situation also shows how the concepts of malnutrition and obesity at the two different ends come together due to poverty.

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