CHILD obesity is an alarming worldwide epidemic with Spain having some of the fattest kids in Europe.
The World Health Organisation (WHO) has warned against increasing childhood obesity rates in countries around the world.
“Our children are getting fatter.” said Director General of WHO Margaret Chan at the United Nations.
The problem of obesity has increased in the last 30 years, she said. “Certain practices in the food industry especially regarding unhealthy food and soft drinks for children play a crucial role,” she added.
Chan complained about healthy food being: “Unaffordable in many areas of the developing world. Unfortunately, unhealthy food is usually cheaper than healthy options,” she added.
Director of the Obesity Institute (IOB) Adelardo Caballero said: “Spain is the country with the highest obesity rates in Europe.” Child obesity rates in Spain have increased from 30 per cent to 65 per cent, he said.
Researchers said that in 95 per cent of the cases child obesity is the result of predisposition, genes and the environment. Lack of physical activity and food also play a crucial role, and
Caballero said that children in southern European countries, especially in Portugal and Spain, are more prone to obesity, despite the famous Mediterranean diet.
Andalucia, Murcia and the Canaries seem to have the largest rates of child obesity in Spain.
Studies conducted by CIBEROobn – Spanish Biomedical Research Centre in Physiopathology of Obesity and Nutrition – indicate that obesity is a social disease since obesity is more common among impoverished families, as high-calorie foods are often much cheaper than healthy foods like fruits, vegetables and fish.