World Health Organisation Calls For Better Antenatal Care to Help Tackle Childhood Obesity
A World Health Organisation (WHO) commission has made a number of recommendations to tackle the global issue of childhood obesity.
The Commission on Ending Childhood Obesity (ECHO) has released a report on how to combat this increasing problem after it was determined that at least 41 million children aged under five years are overweight or obese.
The number of children that are overweight or obese in lower and middle-income countries has doubled since 1990.
According to the WHO website, Commission co-chair Sir Peter Gluckman said: “Increased political commitment is needed to tackle the global challenge of childhood overweight and obesity.
“WHO needs to work with governments to implement a wide range of measures that address the environmental causes of obesity and overweight, and help give children the healthy start to life they deserve."
The ECHO report outlined six main areas in which they believe that more can be done, including preconception and pregnancy care.
The organisation said that governments should “integrate and strengthen guidance for the prevention of noncommunicable diseases (NCDs) with current guidance on preconception and antenatal care (to reduce risk of childhood obesity by preventing low or high birth weight, prematurity and other complications in pregnancy).”
Other suggested measures include promoting healthy foods, supporting the taxation on sugar-sweetened beverages and introducing comprehensive programmes at schools for young children.
For more information on the WHO’s recommendations, visit the website here. For information on antenatal care and lifestyle changes during pregnancy, visit the HSE website here.