Children worldwide are getting fatter at an alarming rate. In North and South America it is predicted that by 2010 over half of all children will be overweight, says a report in the International Journal of Pediatric Obesity. The report was written by Dr. Philip James, Chairman of the International Obesity Task Force.

At the moment one third of all children in North and South America are overweight.

Reports predict that 38% of all children in the European Union will be overweight by 2010.

Experts say this will have an enormous impact on public health care and the economy.

Dr. James said ?We have truly a global epidemic, which appears to be affecting most countries in the world. They’re (children in the developing world) being bombarded like they are in the West to eat all the wrong foods. The Western world’s food industries without even realizing it have precipitated an epidemic with enormous health consequences. This is going to be the first generation that’s going to have a lower life expectancy than their parents. It’s like the plague is in town and no one is interested.?

Experts say the two reasons for the increase in children’s bodyweight is diet and lack of physical activity.

Dr. James predicts that 25% of all children in China will be overweight by 2010. Other countries cited by him as having looming problems include many in the Middle East, Southeast Asia, Mexico, Chile, Brazil and Egypt.

Dr. James believes we should implement a ban on all forms of marketing aimed at young children, not just TV ads (regarding junk foods).

The researchers studied published medical reports on obesity from 1980-2005, they also used information held by the World Health Organization. They analysed data on school-age children from 25 countries and preschoolers from 42 countries.

An obese child will most probably carry health problems into his/her adulthood. The health consequences of overweight and obesity include diabetes II, hypertension, heart disease, stroke, cancer and lower recovery chances from cancer.

Written by: Christian Nordqvist
Editor: Medical News Today