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World Day of Obesity

In the world, over one billion people suffer from obesity, and the numbers resemble an epidemic. The number of obese children and adolescents has risen from 31 million in 1990 to nearly 160 million in 2022. According to a global analysis published in *The Lancet on the occasion of World Obesity Day (March 4), based on 2022 data, there are 159 million obese children and adolescents, along with 879 million obese adults. These figures, as highlighted by the research authors, continue to rise.

Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, the Director-General of the World Health Organization, emphasizes the importance of preventing and managing obesity from early childhood through adulthood. This involves maintaining a healthy diet, engaging in physical activity, and seeking appropriate medical care when necessary. To address this phenomenon, he underscores the need for collaboration between governments, communities, and public health agencies, supported by the private sector, which must take responsibility for the health impact of their products.

The battle against obesity requires collective efforts and a holistic approach to promote well-being and combat this global health challenge.

Furthermore, obesity and diabetes are now closely intertwined, often referred to collectively as “diabesity.” The lead author of the research published in The Lancet, Majid Ezzati from Imperial College London, notes that it is concerning that the obesity epidemic has affected school-age children and adolescents, even as hundreds of millions still suffer from malnutrition. Improving the availability of healthy and nutritious foods and making them accessible is vital. The data reported in the journal indicate that from 1990 to 2022, the percentage of obese children and adolescents worldwide has more than quadrupled among girls (from 1.7% to 6.9%) and boys (from 2.1% to 9.3%). This increase is observed in nearly all countries. The number of children and adolescents affected by obesity has risen from 31 million in 1990 to nearly 160 million in 2022. Among them, there are 65 million girls and 94 million boys. During the same period, obesity has also increased in adults, rising from 195 million (128 million women and 67 million men) to nearly 880 million (504 million women and 374 million men). Additionally, the underweight population has decreased by about one-fifth among girls (from 10.3% to 8.2%) and by over one-third among boys (from 16.7% to 10.8%). In adults, the underweight population has more than halved, declining from 14.5% to 7% among women and from 13.7% to 6.2% among men.

There’s more we can do to reverse this upward trend and assume accountability for both our well-being and that of our children.

N:B This is a translated version of https://www.ansa.it/canale_saluteebenessere/notizie/sanita/2024/03/02/nel-mondo-oltre-un-miliardo-di-obesi-e-unepidemia-_c7f06183-ebdd-4426-a5b5-57a486083ee0.html

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