More and more children are overweight, according to the WHO report

Already over 41 million children under the age of 5 in the world are overweight - warns the World Health Organization. It urges governments around the world to finally turn their attention to this problem.

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1. The number of obese children around the world is increasing

25 years ago, 31 million preschoolers up to the age of 5 were obese. Since then - as it is easy to count - this number has increased by 10 million.It's a lot. That is why WHO speaks decisively and loudly about the obesity epidemic, which is flooding not only North America or Europe. The number of young children weighing above the norm is increasing in Asia (48%) and Africa (25% or 10.3 million).

It is not better in Poland. As calculated by experts from the Food and Nutrition Institute, in 2014 almost every fifth Polish teenager was overweight or obese. Eleven- and twelve-year-olds struggled with it most often. In the infamous statistics, the Mazowieckie Province is the leader (on average 32% of children are overweight), followed by elementary and middle school students from the Łódź Province (29.8%), and then from the West Pomeranian Province (23.9%). The smallest number of obese students live in the Śląskie Voivodeship (16.5%).

2. Polish children gain weight the fastest in Europe

As calculated two years ago by UNICEF, Poland was sixth in the European Union in terms of the percentage of overweight children aged 11-15 years according to BMI. Teenagers from Greece were in the first place.

Why is overweight and obesity so dangerous, especially for children? Because if left untreated, it can lead to serious diseases such as atherosclerosis or type 2 diabetes, which also affects children. Additionally, it may contribute to the development of caries in the youngest.

 

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Obesity can also cause cancer. Research shows that cancers are associated with higher levels of insulin in the blood. It increases when we consume large amounts of sugar and the body has to cope with huge doses of glucose.

3. WHO makes recommendations on how to prevent obesity

They are unambiguous. You should limit your sugar intake to six teaspoons a day for adults. Children and adolescents should eat even less of it - about 3-4 teaspoons. However, it is worth remembering that the harmful additive is found not only in the sugar bowl, but also in many other products - so read their labels carefully. For example, a can of Coca-Cola contains as many as seven teaspoons of sugar. This is well above the permitted daily dose for adults and children alike. Energy should be obtained from fruits and vegetables that contain natural sugars, such as fructose. You can use stevia instead of white sugar. This plant has a zero glycemic index, which means that it does not suddenly raise blood sugar levels and is therefore suitable for diabetics.

In addition, the World Health Organization calls on politicians to finally start fighting the epidemic. He also addresses teachers and food producers. He wants "effective taxation of sugar-sweetened beverages" and a change in school policy. It is about promoting a healthy lifestyle, proper diet and, above all, physical activity. Removing "junk food" from school stores is not enough. Yes, it will pay attention to its too high availability, but it will not solve the problem. It is worth educating, above all, parents and grandparents not to encourage the child to eat large amounts of sugar, to tell him about the consequences and side effects.

- Obesity is not the fault of the children. You can't blame your baby for being too fat, lazy and eating too much, says Peter Gluckman, team leader that produced the WHO report.

 

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