Obese children to outnumber severely underweight by 2022 – WHO

admin   •   October 11, 2017   •   4418

One in five children is now obese or overweight.

Thin or weak children have long been the enduring image associated with poor nutrition in developing countries, while obesity is considered the curse of rich nations. However, a recent report from the World Health Organization (WHO)showed an obvious shift in this trend.

WHO released a report published in the lancet which shows that obesity rates among five to 19-year-olds Rose Tenfold in the past four decades, from 11 million in 1975 to 124 million in 2016.

In line with the observance of World Obesity Day today, the world agency offers recommendations of policy actions for countries to tackle obesity and overweight in young children.

“These actions are all feasible for all countries to tackle ending obesity and overweight in children. Countries will start at different places, perhaps in the schools, perhaps in the physical activity, perhaps in the public education and awareness and the regulatory and marketing, but all countries can tackle obesity through these six recommendations,” said WHO Program Manager Fiona bull.

The report said that 0.7 percent of children were obese in 1975, compared to 5.6 percent of girls and 7.8 percent of boys in 2016.

If the trend continues, more children and adolescents will be obese than moderately to severely underweight by 2022, according to the analysis of the weight and height measurements of nearly 130 million people – the largest ever epidemiological study, according to WHO.

“Being an overweight child or adolescent means you are more likely to be an overweight adult and it is also more likely to lead to early onset of conditions like heart disease, cancer, and diabetes. Overweight in childhood and adolescence also causes social psychological problems for the children themselves, more stigmatism, more bullying, less optimal school performance,” said WHO team leader Leanne Riley.

The study showed that there are now 124 million children and adolescents in the world who are obese and an additional 214 million overweight children and adolescent.  — United Nations Multimedia


No longer variant of interest: WHO reclassifies P.3 variant first found in Philippines

Robie de Guzman   •   July 8, 2021

The World Health Organization (WHO) has reclassified the coronavirus variant that was first detected in the Philippines.

On its website, the WHO has removed Theta or P.3 variant from the list of variants of interest (VOI) and designated it into “alerts for further monitoring” after cases of the said variant have declined.

“A previously designated Variant of Interest (VOI) or Variant of Concern (VOC) which has conclusively demonstrated to no longer pose a major added risk to global public health compared to other circulating SARS-CoV-2 variants, can be reclassified,” the WHO said.

“This is undertaken through a critical expert assessment, in collaboration with Technical Advisory Group on Virus Evolution, of several criteria, such as the observed incidence/relative prevalence of variant detections among sequenced samples over time and between geographical locations, the presence / absence of other risk factors, and any ongoing impact on control measures,” it added.

The WHO, however, noted that former variants of interest or variants of concern may be monitored for an extended period, and will maintain their assigned WHO label until further notice.

“It is expected that our understanding of the impacts of these variants may fast evolve, and designated Alerts for Further Monitoring may be readily added/removed; therefore, WHO labels will not be assigned at this time,” it said.

Aside from Theta, former VOIs were Epsilon (B.1.427/B.1.429), and Zeta (P.2).

COVID-19 variants currently listed under variants of interest are Eta, Iota, Kappa and Lambda.

Eta was first documented in December 2020 in multiple countries, Iota first emerged in the United States in November 2020, Kappa in India around October, and Lambda in Peru in December.

Variants classified as VOC include Alpha (first reported in the United Kingdom), Beta (South Africa), Gamma (Brazil), and Delta (India).


PH yet to detect case of Lambda COVID-19 variant; stricter border control eyed – DOH

Robie de Guzman   •   July 6, 2021

MANILA, Philippines – The Department of Health (DOH) is looking to recommend stricter border control to  keep out the potentially more contagious Lambda COVID-19 variant.

Health Secretary Francisco Duque III said the Philippines has yet to detect any case of the Lambda variant but he stressed that stricter border control may be necessary to prevent the variant from entering the country.

According to the World Health Organization (WHO), the Lambda variant (C.37) was first detected in Peru in December 2020. Its presence has so far been reported in more than 30 countries.

“Sa ngayon po, ito ay napag alaman kumakalat na sa bansang Peru at sa 35 iba pang Latin American countries. Sa ngayon po, batay sa submission ng ating Philippine Genome Center, wala pa, wala pa po tayong natukoy o na-diskubre na C.37 variant,” Duque said.

The Health Ministry of Malaysia earlier reported that the Lambda variant is feared to be “more infectious” than the Delta variant.

But the WHO said there is still not enough information to say that the Lambda mutation is more contagious than other identified COVID-19 variants.

The Lambda variant is still considered a variant of interest (VOI) as it shares similar attributes to the highly transmissible Delta variant that first emerged in India.

Variants under VOI are different from those classified as variants of concern (VOC).

According to the WHO, a variant is classified as a VOC if there is evidence of an increase in transmissibility or detrimental change in COVID-19 epidemiology; or increase in virulence or change in clinical disease presentation; or decrease in effectiveness of public health and social measures or available diagnostics, vaccines, therapeutics.

Variants classified as VOC include Alpha (first reported in the United Kingdom), Beta (South Africa), Gamma (Brazil), and Delta (India).

“Hindi pa siya kinikilala ng WHO bilang variant of concern. Sa kasalukuyan, siya po ay isang Variant of Interest… Kinakailngan po talaga bantayan natin ito dahil baka biglang maging Variant of Concern,” Duque said.

“So ano ang gagawin natin? Patuloy na paigtingin ang ating border control para makasiguro na hindi ito makalusot mula sa ating mga ROFs or OFWs,” he added.

The DOH also urged the public to continue observing health protocols and get vaccinated against coronavirus disease as it offers protection against severe forms of COVID-19.

No new ‘hybrid’ COVID variant in Vietnam — WHO

Aileen Cerrudo   •   June 4, 2021

The “hybrid” coronavirus variant which Vietnam officials thought was a combination of strains first identified in the U.K. and India does not meet the definition of a new variant, the World Health Organization’s Vietnam representative told Nikkei newspaper Thursday.

“There is no new hybrid variant in Vietnam at this moment based on WHO definition,” Dr. Kidong Park, the global health body’s Vietnam representative, said in an online interview.

Dr. Park said the variant detected is a delta variant which was first detected in India and has appeared in other countries.

Park added that there is no alarming alert from WHO, as of the moment but still stressed the dangers of the delta variant since it is highly contagious.

The WHO representative clarified the matter after Vietnamese authorities expressed alarm and announced that a newly discovered variant could have contributed to the COVID-19 outbreaks in the country. AAC


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