Global recommendations to stop childhood obesity launched

Childhood obesity is an important health challenge for almost all countries in the European Region. The statistics are disturbing, with rising rates of overweight and obesity reported in many European countries in recent years. Where trends have recently started to flatten out, they do so at very high rates with a strong social gradient. 

The World Health Assembly recently adopted a global target for all countries to renew their efforts to halt the rise in overweight among children under 5 by 2025. 

In the European Region, Member States have done much to find and implement solutions, with positive developments in some policy areas. Halting the rise in childhood obesity, however, requires stronger and decisive action.

Addressing childhood and adolescent obesity requires consideration of the environmental context and of three critical time periods in the life-course: preconception and pregnancy; infancy and early childhood; and older childhood and adolescence.

Obesity prevention and treatment require a whole-of-government approach in which policies across all sectors systematically take account of health.

The report of the WHO Commission on Ending Childhood Obesity, launched today, encapsulates an important package of comprehensive and integrated recommendations that will inspire and foster even more action at the European level. 

Global recommendations

The Commission's recommendations to address childhood obesity cover six areas: 

  • promotion of intake of healthy foods; 
  • promotion of physical activity; 
  • preconception and pregnancy care; 
  • early childhood diet and physical activity; 
  • health, nutrition and physical activity for school-age children; and 
  • weight management.