If unchecked, childhood obesity to grow to 70 million by 2025

The World Health Organization says the worldwide epidemic is only getting worse, especially in Africa.

GENEVA, SWITZERLAND—If current trends continue, the World Health Organization warns there will be 70 million obese children globally by 2025.

WHO reports the number of overweight or obese infants and children has increased from 31 million globally in 1990 to 44 million in 2012. Over the same period, it says the number of obese children in Africa alone has risen from four to 10 million.

Peter David Gluckman co-chairs the Commission on Ending Childhood Obesity, established by WHO’s director-general, Margaret Chan. Chief science adviser to New Zealand’s prime minister, Gluckman said obese children will grow up to become obese adults, who will suffer from diabetes, heart disease, high rates of cancer and other health problems.

People have to understand that children are not little adults, he said. Therefore, tackling obesity among this group will involve a strategy different from that employed among adults.

There are two main ways to intervene in childhood obesity, Gluckman says that “they go together.”

“It is about optimizing the health of mothers, of women, of girls before they get pregnant. Optimizing the conditions of pregnancy. Promoting good breast feeding and weaning behaviors, much of which has been lost, particularly in Western countries,” he said.

More From FoodService Director

Managing Your Business
business marketing concepts drawing

Sharp, smart marketing materials can make all the difference when it comes to drawing a big crowd for a menu launch or upcoming event. With more avenues to cover than ever and fewer resources to go around, operators offer their tips on making marketing work from start to finish.

Start with communication

Whether it’s an in-house marketing department, an outside agency or someone on staff wearing the marketing hat part-time, the right people need to be involved early and often. “Marketing doesn’t always have a seat at the table [like] it should in order to be truly effective,” says...

Menu Development
health food medicine stethoscope

For the last two years, Chris Studtmann has jockeyed between Northwestern University’s residential dining halls and athletic training tables in his role of executive chef, trying to meet the health and food preferences of both sides. Now, his team is taking best practices developed for the sports teams to the 20,000-plus student population, working with dietitians from the school’s contract company to better sync healthy menu choices with lifestyle needs.

Technomic’s 2016 Healthy Eating Consumer Trend Report shows younger consumers are especially tuned in to functional foods that...

Ideas and Innovation
trail mix

We’ve added fueling stations in our units for our workers who didn’t have time to eat or just need a snack. We have areas set up with trail mix, crackers, cookies and water. It helps us avoid people feeling or getting ill, especially when we get closer to exam periods and student workers are studying and not taking the time to eat.

Ideas and Innovation
reusable coffee cup thermos

We were inspired by a book titled “Influence” to start a sustainable cup program called My Cup. All 15,000 new students receive a reusable cup with their name on it, which they can use at the dining halls. Personalizing helps them invest in the program and actually use it.

FSD Resources