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China to top child obesity table by 2025

10 October 2016  •  Source: New Food

According to a report published by the World Obesity Federation, China might have as many as almost 50 million overweight children (5-18 years) by 2025. 

child-obesity-plans-gov

Coming in second if the report’s projections prove to be accurate would be India with 17.3 million obese children and then the United States with 16.7 million. 

If the figures become a reality then 1.5 million of the 48.5 million obese Chinese children would have impaired glucose tolerance, while 4.6 million would have fatty liver disease, as well as other obesity-linked conditions such as hypertension and diabetes by 2025.

“Soft drink and fatty food consumption have increased worldwide and children are becoming more sedentary,” Tim Lobstein, the report’s author and the federation’s head of policy, said.

“Junk food advertising continues to influence food choices, and increasing numbers of families live on low incomes in urban environments – a recipe for weight gain.”

The report is extremely worrying but China is far from an exceptional case, placed just eighth on a 2013-compiled list of countries with the fastest growing prevalence of obese children – Vietnam, Azerbaijan and Serbia making up the top three.  

“Junk food advertising continues to influence food choices, and increasing numbers of families live on low incomes in urban environments”

It must be noted that the report’s conclusions were drawn assuming there would be no policy intervention or preventative measures implemented by the Chinese government. 

That said, the projections present a worrying case, indicative of a wider, globalised issue with estimations that by 2025, up to 27.5 million children around the world would be affected by hypertension, 38 million would have fatty liver disease, 12.7 million impaired glucose tolerance and as many as four million type 2 diabetic children.

The report arrives in light of several proposed measures in Europe and around the world to limit the advertising power of unhealthy products that contain excessive amounts of sugar. 

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