Obese children to outnumber severely underweight by 2022 – WHO

admin   •   October 11, 2017   •   3939

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

 

WHO warns Western Pacific countries to prepare for ‘large-scale’ outbreak

Marje Pelayo   •   April 1, 2020

MANILA, Philippines – The number of coronavirus disease (COVID-19) cases in the Western Pacific region is far lower than the number in Europe and the United States.

China, the origin of the new virus, also reported low rate of new infection in the recent days since the pandemic started in January this year.

But the World Health Organization (WHO) cannot be complacent.

Who Regional Director Dr. Takeshi Kasai has warned countries in the Western Pacific Region, including the Philippines, “to prepare for the large-scale community outbreak.”

The official said one effective strategy to slow down the spread of COVID-19 is the lockdown, though such measure is not enough to stop the contagion.

Lockdown to be effective, we also have to continue find case, isolate and treat early and also trace and quarantine those contacts. Lockdown is a bundle of public health measures,” Dr. Kasai said.

WHO Director General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus earlier urged people worldwide to always prepare as if they would contract the virus and governments to take a comprehensive approach to fighting the epidemic by tracing, testing and isolating as many cases as possible.

“To suppress and control the epidemic, countries must isolate, test, treat and trace,” the official said.

“If they don’t, transmission chains can continue at a low level and then resurface once physical distancing measures are lifted,” he added. He said the test and trace strategy must be the backbone of the response in every country.

Tedros also said that to speed up the search for treatment of the infection, the WHO and its partners are organizing a multi-country study to analyse and compare some yet untested treatments.

Europe is now considered to be the epicenter of the coronavirus outbreak, which originated in Wuhan, China in December 2019. MNP / Reuters

WHO urges countries to use “second window of opportunity” to stop COVID-19 transmission

UNTV News   •   March 26, 2020

The chief of the World Health Organization (WHO) on Wednesday urged all countries to use the “second window of opportunity” to suppress and stop the transmission of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19).

This window of opportunity was created by those countries and regions which introduced unprecedented “lockdown” measures to contain the COVID-19 pandemic, WHO Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus noted at a daily briefing, reminding that these measures will not extinguish epidemics on their own.

“Asking people to stay at home and shutting down population movement is buying time and reducing the pressure on health systems, but on their own, these measures will not extinguish epidemics. The point of these actions is to enable the more precise and targeted measures that are needed to stop transmission and save lives. We call on all countries who have introduced so-called lockdown measures to use this time to attack the virus,” he said.

Tedros recommended six key actions to enable the more precise and targeted measures.

Specifically, he called on countries to expand, train and deploy health care and public health workforce, implement a system to find every suspected case at community level, and ramp up the production, capacity, and availability of testing equipment.

He also suggested identifying, adapting and equipping facilities for treating and isolating patients, developing a clear plan and process to quarantine contacts, as well as refocusing the whole of government on suppressing and controlling COVID-19.

“We have been saying for more than two months now this virus is public enemy number one. It’s a dangerous virus, and we have been saying to the world that the window of opportunity is narrowing and the time to act was actually more than a month ago or two months ago. But we still believe that there is an opportunity. I think we squandered the first window of opportunity but we are saying today my message, I made it clear that this is a second opportunity which we should not squander,” said Tedros.

The WHO situation dashboard showed a total of 416,686 cases of COVID-19 were reported worldwide as of 18:00 CET (1700 GMT) Wednesday, as the virus spread to 196 countries and regions.

The global death toll from COVID-19 has climbed to 18,589.

Outside China, the number of confirmed cases has risen to 334,817, among which over 190,000 cases were reported by the four most affected countries with over 30,000 cases each — Italy, the United States, Spain, and Germany. (Reuters)

WHO warns of “accelerating” pandemic, says health workers must be protected

UNTV News   •   March 24, 2020

WHO Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus

The pandemic of disease caused by the coronavirus is accelerating, the World Health Organization (WHO) said on Monday (March 23), with more than 300,000 cases now recorded and infections reported from nearly every country worldwide.

While it took 67 days from the first reported case to reach the first 100,000 cases of COVID-19, it took only 11 days for the second 100,000 cases, and just four days for the third 100,000 cases, WHO director-general Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, said.

He called for global political commitment to change the trajectory of the pandemic, urging countries to take both defensive and attacking measures.

“Asking people to stay at home and other social distancing measures are an important way of slowing down the spread of the virus and buying time, but they are defensive measures,” Tedros told an online briefing for more than 300 journalists.

“To win we need to attack the virus with aggressive and targeted tactics – testing every suspect case, isolating and caring for every confirmed cases and tracing and quarantining every close contact.”

Tedros also said that there were alarming reports of large number of health workers being infected and called for their protection. (Reuters)

(Production: Pete Brownlie, Vanessa Romeo)

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