La obesidad infantil es un problema mundial que afecta también, hoy en día, a la población de menor edad.

Hoy día, la obesidad se ha convertido en un problema de salud mundial, considerándose una auténtica epidemia que afecta también a las poblaciones de menor edad. La revista The Lancet, una de las más prestigiosas de la comunidad médica, publica los resultados del estudio epidemiológico de mayor envergadura realizado hasta ahora por el número de participantes: se han analizado el peso y estatura de 130 millones de personas mayores de 5 años.

En los últimos 40 años, el número de niños y adolescentes con obesidad se ha disparado de forma alarmante. En la franja de edad de los 5 a 19 años, el número de niños o jóvenes obesos se ha multiplicado por 10. Además, estas cifras van a seguir aumentando, particularmente en los países con menos recursos económicos. Los alimentos procesados, la comida rápida o los azúcares añadidos junto a estilos de vida cada vez más sedentarios son las principales causas de estas alarmantes cifras. En los países occidentales, las medidas para frenar el excesivo consumo de azúcares como impuestos a estos productos y a las bebidas azucaradas son el principal apoyo para frenar el consumo exagerado de estos productos.

Las zonas con mayores cifras de obesidad son la Polinesia, Estados Unidos, Canadá, Australia y Nueva Zelanda. El área del mundo con el mayor incremento en niños y adolescentes obesos es Asia Oriental, los países de habla inglesa antes mencionados, Oriente medio y África del Norte. En Europa, los niños de Malta y Grecia tienen las tasas de obesidad más elevadas y Moldavia las más bajas.

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