Two independent news reports, one from the US and one from the UK, published one day apart from each other, have recently caught my interest: the younger populations, including children and millennials/young adults, will have the highest obesity rates in recorded history.
The numbers are appalling. The incidence rate of obesity in children less than 5 years of age is at its highest, with 26% of them being overweight and 15% obese. Once a child is overweight, the majority remain that way throughout the rest of their lives. At 16-19 years of age, 40% are already obese. In the case of the millennials, it is estimated that 70% of them will be overweight before they are 40.
Excess weight has a terrible effect on their health and quality of life. Not only are they more prone to many health conditions such as type 2 diabetes, cardiovascular disease and fatty liver, but also to around 13 types of cancer. And to be at risk of these diseases at such a young age only makes matters worse, as the probability increases as time goes by.
This is a matter of grave concern, and measures must be taken to stall, if not reverse, the incidence rate. It is still not too late, we must take action by increasing awareness, promote healthy eating habits and physical activity. We must do this, for the sake of the future of our children.
Jonathan Jones, PhD
Product Development Manager