Wednesday, 13 Dec 2017

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'Child obesity grows tenfold worldwide since 1975'

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Health Desk—October 12, 2017: A study on Wednesday said the world had 10 times as many obese children and teenagers last year than in 1975, but underweight kids still outnumbered them.

Warning of a "double burden" of malnutrition, researchers said the rate of increase in obesity far outstripped the decline in under-nutrition.

"If post-2000 trends continue, child and adolescent obesity is expected to surpass moderate and severe underweight by 2022," researchers wrote in The Lancet medical journal.

The team found that there were 74 million obese boys aged 5-19 in 2016, up from six million four decades earlier. For girls, the tally swelled from five million to 50 million.

By comparison, there were 117 million underweight boys and 75 million underweight girls last year after the number peaked around the year 2000, the study said.

Almost two thirds of the underweight children lived in south Asia.

Obesity ballooned in every region in the world, while the number of underweight children slowly decreased everywhere except south and southeast Asia, and central, east and west Africa.