Obesity And Overweight in Nepalese Kids

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Referring to a recent study from Baliyo Nepal, the Kathmandu Post writes that 3% of Nepalese children under five years of age are obese. The figure is 3 times higher than the official data from the Nepal Demographic and Health Survey 2022. The study also found that obesity was not only prevalent among children, but also adolescents and adults as well.

Referring to an analysis reported by Lancet, the Post writes “The problem is not only of Nepal but of many countries around the world. The report showed that one in eight people in the world is living with obesity. Worldwide, obesity rates among children and adolescents increased four times from 1990 to 2022, while obesity rates among adult women have more than doubled, even as the rates have tripled in men, the report found.

  • The total number of children, adolescents and adults worldwide living with obesity has surpassed one billion. These trends, together with the declining prevalence of people who are underweight since 1990, make obesity the most common form of malnutrition in most countries.
  • It is very concerning that the epidemic of obesity that was evident among adults in much of the world in 1990 is now mirrored in school-aged children and adolescents.
  • At the same time, hundreds of millions are still affected by undernutrition, particularly in some of the poorest parts of the world. To successfully tackle both forms of malnutrition it is vital we significantly improve the availability and affordability of healthy, nutritious foods.
– Lancet report (source: The Kathmandu Post)

According to a 2019 UNICEF country report, “poverty, urbanization, climate change and poor eating choices driving unhealthy diets 1 in 3 children under five is malnourished; 2 in 3 children under two live on poor diets”.

  • In Nepal, 43 per cent children under five are either stunted or wasted or overweight. Similarly, only an estimated 45 per cent of children aged between six months and two years are fed at least five out of the eight food groups, which is specified as the minimum diet diversity. Most of the children within this age group eat grains and legumes and only one in three children is being fed egg or fish or meat.
  • “Despite all the technological, cultural and social advances of the last few decades, we have lost sight of this most basic fact: If children eat poorly, they live poorly. Millions of children subsist on an unhealthy diet because they simply do not have a better choice. The way we understand and respond to malnutrition needs to change: It is not just about getting children enough to eat; it is above all about getting them the right food to eat. That is our common challenge today,” said Henrietta Fore, UNICEF Executive Director
– UNICEF (2019 report)

“The greatest burden of malnutrition in all its forms is shouldered by children and adolescents from the poorest and most marginalized communities. Only 1 in 5 children aged six months to two years from the poorest households eats a sufficiently diverse diet for healthy growth. Even in high-income countries such as the UK, the prevalence of overweight is more than twice as high in the poorest areas as in the richest areas”, the report notes.

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