Childhood obesity is reaching alarming proportions in many countries and poses an urgent and serious challenge. The Sustainable Development Goals, set by the United Nations in 2015, identify prevention and control of noncommunicable diseases as core priorities. Among the noncommunicable disease risk factors, obesity is particularly concerning and has the potential to negate many of the health benefits that have contributed to increased life expectancy.
Progress in tackling childhood obesity has been slow and inconsistent. The Commission on Ending Childhood Obesity was established in 2014 to review, build upon and address gaps in existing mandates and strategies. Having consulted with over 100 WHO Member States and reviewed nearly 180 online comments, the Commission has developed a set of recommendations to successfully tackle childhood and adolescent obesity in different contexts around the world.
The main recommendations are:
- Promote intake of healthy foods
- Promote physical activity
- Preconception and pregnancy care
- Early childhood diet and physical activity
- Health, nutrition and physical activity for school-age children
- Weight management.