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The total amount of obese children and teenagers has risen to 124million worldwide - a ten-fold increase during the last forty years, according to new research.
The study is the biggest to date observing obesity patterns in over two hundred countries around the world. Throughout the UK, one in every ten youngsters aged five to nineteen, is overweight.
Researchers claim obese children have a tendency to turn out to be obese adults, making them vulnerable to serious health issues, such as type 2 diabetes, heart conditions, stroke and even some types of cancer, such breast and colon cancer.
These findings were published on World Obesity Day, as experts from the World Obesity Federation warn that the worldwide cost of treating and managing health problems resulting from obesity will surpass £920bn annually from 2025.
While child obesity levels seem to be stabilising in several high-income European countries, which includes the UK, they are increasing at a disturbing pace in many other regions worldwide, it is claimed. Experts are convinced ease of accessibility and mass advertising of low-cost, fattening foods are amongst the main reasons for this.
The most significant rise in the number of obese youngsters has been in East Asia, China and also India. Polynesia and Micronesia have the highest rate of all - around 50% of the younger population in these places is overweight or obese.
The experts maintain that should the existing global trends carry on, 'obese' will quickly become more prevalent in comparison to ’underweight’ seeing as the number of underweight children around the globe has been reducing since the year 2000.
In 2016, 192m of the younger generation were underweight - considerably more than the amount of young people who were obese, but that seems to be to changing. East Asia, Latin America and the Caribbean have noticed a change from underweight to obesity within the period of a few decades.
Internationally, in 2016 a further 213m youngsters were overweight although still below the threshold for obesity. One obesity researcher said "This is a huge problem that will get worse. Even skinny people are heavier than they would have been ten years ago. We have not become more weak-willed, lazy or greedy. The reality is the world around us is changing."
Tough action has been called for by the World Health Organisation, to crack down on "calorie-dense, nutrient-poor food" and to promote more physical activity and exercise. To date, just over 20 countries globally have introduced a tax on sugary drinks.
Public Health England, said, "Our sugar reduction programme and the government's sugar levy are world-leading, but this is just the beginning of a long journey to tackle the challenge of a generation. The evidence is clear, that just telling people what to do won't work. Whilst education and information are important, deeper actions are needed to help us lower calorie consumption and achieve healthier diets.”
Andy Cox, hypnotherapist and director of Assured Effects Hypnotherapy, believes that as individuals we can join this journey of tackling obesity by making good choices and exercising control to not follow the advertising campaigns and promotions which encourage us to adopt such unhealthy lifestyles leading to obesity. Through hypnotherapy, we have the ability to change our beliefs and restructure and nurture our understanding about the way we eat and what our bodies truly need for weight loss and maintenance of a healthy lifestyle.
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