Ahead of the World Obesity day which will be observed on October 11, the Lancet has published a recent study which says that there has been a 10-fold increase in the number of children and adolescents living with obesity over the past four decades — increasing from 5 million girls and 6 million boys in 1975 to 50 million and 74 million in 2016, respectively.
The study also revealed the numbers of children remain moderately or severely underweight - 75 million girls and 117 million boys remaining moderately or severely underweight in 2016 and almost two-thirds of moderately or severely underweight are from South Asia.
From 200 countries, 128.9 million which included 31.5 million children and adolescents aged 5-19 years have participated in the study.
Obesity at childhood and adolescence could cause the onset of chronic diseases, such as type 2 diabetes, worse psychosocial and educational outcomes.
The study was done by World Obesity Federation along with the Lancet and the World Health Organisation.
If obesity is not treated at the time it could lead to heart disease, diabetes, liver disease and several types of cancer and the cost of treating these serious consequences of obesity is still very high and it is expected that it will reach $1.2 trillion per year by 2025.
It is estimated in India that annual cost of treating obesity-related consequences will reach 13 billion or cumulative costs of $90 billion between now and 2025.
President of the World Obesity Federation, Professor Ian Caterson, in a release issued on Tuesday, said that obesity is now a worldwide epidemic, which absorbs a vast amount of our healthcare resources. The annual medical cost of treating the consequences of obesity, such as diabetes and heart disease, is truly alarming.