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Public health

Childhood obesity rates now 11 times higher than in 1975

The number of obese children and adolescents worldwide has increased 11-fold over the last four decades (Lancet, October 10). In 1975, 11 million 5- to 19-year-olds worldwide were considered obese. By 2016, that number had risen to 124 million, of which about 60% were male. Another 213 million people in this age group last year were considered overweight. This is the conclusion of a meta-analysis coordinated by researchers at Imperial College London and the World Health Organization. The study analyzed data from 2,416 epidemiological studies conducted around the world since the mid-1970s. These studies provided information on the weight and height of 130 million children in the age group under analysis.

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