London: As many as 268 million children aged five to 17 years may be overweight – including 91 million obese – by 2025, according to a global estimate that suggests no policy interventions have proven effective at changing current trends.
Timed to coincide with this year’s World Obesity Day, which is observed on October 11, researchers from World Obesity Federation in the UK have also released data anticipating that obesity-related conditions will rise among children.
In 2025, up to 12 million children will have impaired glucose tolerance, 4 million will have type 2 diabetes, 27 million will have hypertension, and 38 million will have hepatic steatosis, or buildup of fat in the liver, researchers found.
Using data prepared by the Global Burden of Disease collaborative for 2000 and 2013, the researchers have estimated that by 2025 some 268 million children aged 5-17 years may be overweight, including 91 million obese.
“These forecasts should sound an alarm bell for health service managers and health professionals, who will have to deal with this rising tide of ill health following the obesity epidemic,” said Dr Tim Lobstein from World Obesity Federation.
“In a sense, we hope these forecasts are wrong: they assume current trends continue, but we are urging governments to take strong measures to reduce childhood obesity and meet their agreed target of getting the levels of childhood obesity down to 2010 levels before we get to 2025,” said Lobstein, co-author of the study.
The findings were published in the journal Pediatric Obesity.