Today the World Health Organization and the Imperial College of London published a new study in The Lancet which found that there has been a ten-fold increase in childhood obesity, the following is a statement from Mike Bloomberg on these results:
“Obesity is truly at crisis levels: there has been a ten-fold increase in the number of obese children and adolescents over the last four decades. The crisis is especially severe in low- and middle-income countries, where obesity is rising the fastest. The result is a terrible rise in human suffering, which also carries huge economic costs and stalled human development. This new report is a timely reminder both of the scope of the crisis and the need for a more robust and urgent response. Anti-obesity policies like sugary drinks taxes are working, and the faster we spread them, the more lives we can save.”
Published ahead of World Obesity Day, the study comes at an important time when many governments are beginning to implement or are considering population-level interventions to curb obesity, including sugary drinks taxes – a policy that is proving to be effective for improving diets, an important step toward curbing obesity.
Background on Bloomberg & Obesity Prevention
Michael R. Bloomberg has been focused on improving public health from his time as New York City Mayor and now through his foundation and role as the WHO Global Ambassador for Noncommunicable Diseases.
The Bloomberg Philanthropies Obesity Prevention Program is addressing the global epidemic by funding civil society and research partners that are raising public awareness of the problem and supporting policies to prevent the rise of obesity in Brazil, Colombia, Mexico, and South Africa. Bloomberg Philanthropies also supports efforts in the U.S. The foundation’s strategy employs a number of approaches including: support for banning advertising aimed at children for junk food and sugary beverages, raising taxes on sugar-sweetened beverages, removing unhealthy food from schools and increasing consumer knowledge to understand nutrition labels.