Rising rates of overweight among preschoolers in developing countries

Despite rising rates of overweight among preschoolers in some developing countries, undernutrition remains a major public health burden in most of these regions, according to new research published in The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition. Mercedes de Onis and Monika Blssner of the World Health Organization analyzed 160 cross-sectional weight surveys from 94 countries to allow comparisons across countries and over time. In infants and children ranging from 0-5 years of age, the overall global prevalence of overweight was 3.3%, with some countries having very high rates of both overweight and wasting. Developing countries with the highest prevalences of overweight were mainly located in the Middle East, North Africa and Latin America. However the higher rate of wasting in many developing countries suggests that undernutrition is still the nutrition problem of greatest concern in developing countries.

The study recognizes the need for early intervention to prevent an epidemic of obesity in developing countries such as has arisen in developed nations. Yet the fact remains that wasting rates were found to be considerably higher than rates of overweight in the majority of developing countries, with the least-developed countries having very high rates of > 15%.


Contact: Beth Wettergreen
American Journal of Clinical Nutrition

Page: 1

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