The problem is global and is steadily affecting many low- and middle-income countries, particularly in urban settings. The prevalence has increased at an alarming rate. Globally, in 2016 the number of obesity and sex children under the age of five, is estimated to be over 41 million. Overweight and obese children are likely to stay obese into adulthood and more likely to develop noncommunicable diseases like diabetes and cardiovascular diseases at a younger age.
Overweight and obesity, as well as their related diseases, are largely preventable. Prevention of childhood obesity therefore needs high priority. The WHO Member States in the 66th World Health Assembly have agreed on a voluntary global NCD target to halt the rise in diabetes and obesity. Global Strategy on Diet, Physical Activity and Health The fundamental causes behind the rising levels of childhood obesity are a shift in diet towards increased intake of energy-dense foods that are high in fat and sugars but low in vitamins, minerals and other healthy micronutrients, and a trend towards decreased levels of physical activity. WHO developed the Global Strategy on Diet, Physical Activity and Health at the request of WHO Member States, which was endorsed by the 57th World Health Assembly, in May 2004. The Global Strategy on Diet, Physical Activity and Health is a prevention-based strategy that aims to significantly reduce the prevalence of NCDs and their common risk factors, primarily unhealthy diet and physical inactivity. A Healthy Weight for All Children’ programme.
This change was more pronounced in children from the poorer areas of Amsterdam. Addressing the deprivation gap in childhood overweight and obesity is one of the biggest public health challenges. Primary 1 children are only 5 years old. This gap widens as the children get older.