Excess weight in children can impact their quality of life, and presents potential health consequences down the road as they age.

Worldwide Efforts for Healthy Weights in Children

Happy Children

The Commission on Ending Childhood Obesity presented its final report to the World Health Organization after a two-year study. They provided a range of recommendations aimed at reversing the rise in the incidence of both overweight and obesity in kids. Excess weight in children can impact their quality of life, and presents potential health consequences down the road as they age.

From 1990 to 2014 the rates of overweight and obesity have risen in children under the age of five from 31 million to 41 million. Half of these young children live in Asia.

It is interesting and alarming to see the speedy increase in obesity around the world, even in low-income countries. One-quarter of children five years and younger who are overweight or obese live in Africa.

Lifestyle habits that promote good health and a healthy weight need to be worldwide and appropriate to the country and its culture. We should promote:

  • Breastfeeding - it is important for a good start in life, and the baby self-regulates it’s calorie intake by hunger.
  • Water as a primary beverage, limiting fruit drinks and sweet sodas.
  • Wholesome regional foods with minimal processing, limiting the salty and sugary processed foods.
  • Physical play time every single day, with good physical education programs.
  • Good prenatal care.good sleep habits for children.

This means working with the parents and caregivers, as well as with the educators where the children go to school. It should be a worldwide effort to ensure a healthier population with less chronic disease.

Recipes to try:

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About the Author

Rita Smith is a Registered Dietitian and Certified Diabetes Educator. She's been working in the field of nutrition and disease prevention for more than 35 years and currently works at Sentara Martha Jefferson Hospital in Charlottesville, Va. Each week, Rita provides nutrition counseling to clients who have a variety of disorders or diseases including high cholesterol, high blood pressure, diabetes, celiac disease, irritable bowel syndrome, gastroparesis and weight management. For these clients, food choices can help them manage their health problems.