Disease Proof

WHO Targets Obesity

Reuters reports the World Health Organization (WHO) declares war on poor diets, citing them as primary causes of childhood obesity. Reporter Stephanie Nebehay explains new body mass guidelines aim to change all this:

Twenty to 30 percent more young children may be overweight than previously thought according to new growth standards, the World Health Organization (WHO) said on Thursday.

The U.N. agency said it hoped parents and pediatricians would begin applying its new guidelines -- which for the first time lay down optimal body mass index charts -- to halt "the increasing epidemic of childhood obesity."

The standards also aim to help identify malnourished youngsters, which it said was an underestimated problem.

The WHO—which has declared war on poor diets blamed for rising obesity—has estimated that at least 20 million children under five years and one billion adults worldwide are overweight. Another 170 million children are underweight, three million of whom die each year as a result of malnutrition.

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