According to the Associated Press recent studies predict that by 2010 nearly half of the children in North and South America will be overweight. If present trends continue about 38 percent of all children will be fat. Many experts are alarmed:
"We have truly a global epidemic which appears to be affecting most countries in the world," said Dr. Philip James, chairman of the International Obesity Task Force and author of an editorial in the journal warning of the trend.
The percentages of overweight children also are expected to increase significantly in the Middle East and Southeast Asia. Mexico, Chile, Brazil and Egypt have rates comparable to fully industrialized nations, James said.
He estimated that, for example, one in five children in China will be overweight by 2010.
"They're being bombarded like they are in the West to eat all the wrong foods. The Western world's food industries without even realizing it have precipitated an epidemic with enormous health consequences," he said.
For more information on the childhood obesity epidemic read the following posts: Warning Labels from the Surgeon General on Soda?, Childhood Obesity: Growing In The Wrong Direction, Stopping Childhood Obesity--Thinking Outside the Box, and New York Nixes Full-Fat Milk in Schools.