Childhood Obesity Threatens Developing Countries

The World Health Organization (WHO) declared a double nutritional burden problems now being experienced by low-income countries and middle. These countries are not only still difficult to solve problems of malnutrition, but it also faces a growing number of children who are overweight (overweight) and obesity.

In its official statement on Wednesday (05/06/2013), the WHO said many developing countries ignore the problem of child obesity in the midst of efforts to improve nutritional status. It appears from the lack of policies to address the issue of the burden of disease due to the rising cases of obesity.

According to WHO, more than 75 percent of children who are overweight live in developing countries. Even the increased prevalence in Africa almost doubled over the past 20 years. In fact, obese children tend to remain obese as an adult, thus triggering the risk of diabetes and other diseases.

Director of the Department of Nutrition for Health and Development of WHO, dr. Francesco Branca said it found that the increasing trend of overweight children in the country who still have problems with malnutrition.

"It's important to maintain efforts to reduce malnutrition rates, but it is important also to increase interest in preventing the surge in the number of people who are overweight or obese in developing countries," said Branca.

The double burden of nutritional problems is a form of malnutrition with the causes and consequences associated with the food system is not balanced. An unbalanced food system is characterized by food that is not properly distributed. This resulted in some children there are advantages and malnutrition.

Child undernutrition in early life will experience a short (stunting) and tended to excess nutrients in as a teenager and adult. This increases their risk of developing chronic diseases in adulthood.

"To avoid nutritional problems in the next generation, policy makers should start to pay attention to improve the nutritional status of pregnant women and girls will be mothers in the future," added Branca.

Many policies aimed only at one of the multiple nutritional problems, namely malnutrition. While attention to the problem of over nutrition-related diseases such as diabetes, heart disease, and stroke are very far behind, especially in Africa and in Southeast Asia.

Although the government has made a policy related to obesity at the national level, the policy is not implemented to the provincial and local levels. Of the countries surveyed, only one-third that enforce rules on food shopping and few children who make policies to reduce the consumption of salt and trans fats in the diet.

Essential Nutrition Actions

In helping countries that still lack policies, the WHO issued a consolidated package of Essential Nutrition Actions 24 which outlines effective ways to improve the nutritional status, good repair to prevent malnutrition and overnutrition.

Because many factors during pregnancy and early infant life that affects baby's weight when it grows and matures, the interventions include: improved nutrition of pregnant and lactating mothers, increase the early initiation of breastfeeding and exclusive breastfeeding 6 months, and continue up to 2 years, increasing food Solid appropriate for toddlers, as well as providing micronutrient supplements and fortified foods, if necessary.