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Obese kids will soon outnumber underweight kids in the world

A new report from the World Health Organization says that the obesity rates in Canadian children have more than tripled in the past four decades.

Obese kids will soon outnumber underweight kids in the world

Photo: iStockphoto

The obesity rate of Canadian children and adolescents has more than tripled in the past four decades, according to a new report by the World Health Organization.

In 1975, the obesity rate for those in Canada aged five to 19 was slightly less than three percent. By 2016, that rate had jumped to nearly 14 percent for boys and 10 percent for girls.

Worldwide obesity rates have undergone a similar increase. During the same time frame, the global obesity rate for children and adolescents rose to nearly eight percent for boys and six percent for girls from less than one percent. If the trend continues, the report notes, by 2022 there will be more obese children and adolescents in the world than those moderately or severely underweight.

Polynesia and Micronesia had the highest obesity rates for both boys and girls (22.4 percent and 25.4 percent respectively), and the largest increases took place in East Asia, the high-income English-speaking region (which includes Canada) and the Middle East and North Africa.

Here’s a look at how obesity rates break down in Canada and on a global scale:

Graph showing obesity rate for Canadian children measured agains kids who were underweight. Source: World Health Organization

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