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Rapid surge in childhood obesity in India, 12.5 million affected in 2022

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A substantial rise in childhood obesity has been reported in India, with approximately 12.5 million children aged five to 19 classified as overweight in 2022.

This is marking a significant increase from 0.4 million in 1990, according to a comprehensive global analysis published in The Lancet journal.

Among these 12.5 million children, 7.3 million were boys, and 5.2 million were girls.

The study, conducted by the NCD Risk Factor Collaboration (NCD-RisC) in collaboration with the World Health Organization (WHO), highlighted that the worldwide prevalence of children and adolescents grappling with obesity has quadrupled since 1990.

Expressing concern, senior author Professor Majid Ezzati from Imperial College London emphasised the parallel rise in childhood obesity, mirroring the trends observed in adults globally back in 1990.

The study revealed that the total number of individuals living with obesity globally, across all age groups, has surpassed one billion. This includes 159 million children and adolescents and 879 million adults dealing with obesity in 2022.

In the context of India, the adult obesity rate has seen an upward trajectory, escalating from 1.2% in 1990 to 9.8% in 2022 for women and from 0.5% to 5.4% for men. The country now contends with the dual challenge of obesity and undernutrition.

This new study highlights the importance of preventing and managing obesity from early life to adulthood, through diet, physical activity, and adequate care, as needed," said WHO Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesu in a statement to the press. "Getting back on track to meet the global targets for curbing obesity will take the work of governments and communities, supported by evidence-based policies from WHO and national public health agencies," he added.

The researchers underscored the importance of enhancing the availability and affordability of healthy, nutritious foods to effectively combat both forms of malnutrition. The study urged the need for comprehensive policies addressing these challenges and emphasised the pivotal role of governments, communities, and private sectors in promoting healthier lifestyles.

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TAGS:Childhood ObesityChildhood Obesity in IndiaObesity in Children
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