According to latest data, over a billion people worldwide are obese, including 650 million adults, 340 million adolescents and 39 million children. As the numbers are still rising WHO By 2025, approximately 167 million people are estimated to become less healthy due to being overweight or obese.
Consequences of obesity
Overweight and obesity are defined as the abnormal or excessive accumulation of fat that can impair health. As a disease that affects most body systems, obesity affects the heart, liver, kidneys, joints, and reproductive system.
WHO stressed that obesity also leads to a number of non-communicable diseases (NCDs), such as type 2 diabetes, cardiovascular disease, hypertension and stroke, various forms of cancer, and mental health problems.
Obese people are also three times more likely to be hospitalized for COVID-19.
The Key to Prevention: Act Early
Since 1975, obesity worldwide has nearly tripled.
The WHO has stated that early action is the key to preventing obesity. For example, before you even think about having a baby, get cured.
“Proper nutrition during pregnancy followed by exclusive breastfeeding until 6 months of age and continued breastfeeding up to two years of age and beyond is best for all infants and young children,” WHO repeated.
© UNICEF/Patricia Willock
In the same time, countries must work together to create a better food environment so that everyone can access and afford healthy food..
Steps need to be taken to achieve this, including limiting the marketing of foods and drinks high in fat, sugar and salt to children, taxing sugary drinks, and ensuring greater access to affordable, healthy foods.
Along with dietary changes, the WHO also mentioned the need for exercise.
“Cities and towns should create spaces for safe walking, cycling and recreation, and schools should help households teach healthy habits to children from an early age.”
WHO continues to tackle the global obesity crisis by tracking global trends and prevalence, developing a wide range of guidelines for the prevention and treatment of overweight and obesity, and providing support and advice to countries.
Obesity Action Plan
At the request of Member States, the WHO Secretariat is also developing a fast-track action plan to halt obesity, tackle the epidemic in high-burden countries, and galvanize global action. The plan will be discussed at the 76th World Health Assembly in May.