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By 2022, obese children will outnumber underweight children

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We all know how important it is for the well-being of the body to keep a proper diet. This is especially crucial when it comes to children. Eating problems are unfortunately widespread among younger people, although we are seeing a substantial shift from the past. Until now, in fact, the problem of malnutrition mainly affected children who are in the underweight condition, especially in the poorest parts of the planet. The numbers are changing, however, and a new scenario, in some ways opposite to the past, seems about to occur.

The study

According to research published in Lancet, the most important (in terms of numbers) on the study of obesity carried out in the past 40 years, five years from now the number of obese children will exceed the number of underweight children. Weight and height of about 129 million subjects in an age range of 5 to 19 years were analyzed. The first worrisome finding from this study is that over the past 40 years the number of overweight children has become 10 times larger, rising from 11 million in 1975 to 124 million in the past year (moreover, there were about 213 million children just below the obesity threshold in 2013).

Blame it on a lifestyle that is certainly more sedentary than in the past but not only that. One of the main causes, according to experts, would also be the increase in poverty. In fact, the economic crisis has taken away the opportunity for more and more people to buy healthy foods with high nutritional values, forcing them to fall back on junk food, most often cheaper than others.

Statistics

According to the survey by Imperial College London, the number of obese children has risen from 1 percent recorded in 1975 to 6 percent for girls and even 8 percent in boys in 2016. An entire generation, therefore, is growing up affected by malnutrition. This time, however, unlike in the past, the trend is reversing in favor of overweight children, who are in ever-increasing numbers.

Despite this, even on the side of underweight children, the situation does not seem to be improving at all. In fact, in 2016 the average or severely underweight individuals were about 75 million for girls, and well 117 million for boys, who are concentrated more in the world’s poorest areas (two-thirds of them live in the south of Asia where high population growth is failing to come to terms with policies put in place by the government against malnutrition).

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