Alarming: Childhood Obesity In India To Rise 9.1% Annually By 2035
NEW DELHI, (IANS) – Obesity among boys and girls in India is likely to see an annual rise of 9.1 percent by 2035, if prevention, treatment, and support do not improve, warned an alarming global report ahead of World Obesity Day.
World Obesity Day is globally observed on March 4 every year with the view of promoting practical solutions to end the global obesity crisis.
The reasons for increased obesity prevalence include rising trends in dietary preferences towards more highly processed foods, greater levels of sedentary behavior, weaker policies to control the food supply and food marketing, and less well-resourced healthcare services to assist in weight management and in health education in the population.
Further, the report showed that lower-income countries are facing rapid increases in obesity prevalence. Of the 10 countries with the greatest expected increases in obesity globally, nine are from either Asia or Africa, including India.
Globally, more than 50 percent of the world population will be living with overweight and obese by 2035, the report showed.
The report World Obesity Atlas 2023, published by World Obesity Federation, showed that in 2020 boys had a 3 percent obesity risk, but by 2035, the risk will likely go up by 12 percent and for girls, the risk was 2 percent in 2020, but in 2035, it will rise to 7 percent.
In the case of adults, the annual increase is pegged at 5.2 percent. Indian women in 2020 had a 7 percent risk, by 2035, it will rise to 13 percent. Men, on the other hand, had a 4 percent risk in 2020, it will rise to 8 percent in 2025.
More than adults, childhood obesity could more than double by 2035. Boys are likely to see a 100 percent increase, while girls can see a 125 percent increase in the risk of obesity. In all, over 1.5 billion adults and nearly 400 million children will be living with obesity in 12 years’ time unless significant action is taken.
Prof. Louise Baur, President of the World Obesity Federation said,
“Governments and policymakers around the world need to do all they can to avoid passing health, social, and economic costs on to the younger generation. That means looking urgently at the systems and root factors that contribute to obesity and actively involving young people in the solutions. If we act together now, we could help billions of people in the future.”
The report also predicted that the global economic impact of overweight and obesity will reach $4.32 trillion. In the case of India, the impact of obesity on the national GDP would be 1.8 percent by 2035.
However, the report emphasized that the acknowledgment of the economic impact of obesity “is in no way a reflection of the blame on people living with obesity.”