Researchers' global estimates indicate that by 2025, some 268 million children aged 5 to 17 years may be overweight, including 91 million obese, assuming no policy interventions have proven effective at changing current trends.
Timed to coincide with this year's World Obesity Day, which is observed on October 11, investigators have also released data anticipating that obesity-related conditions will rise among children. In 2025, up to 12 million children will have impaired glucose tolerance, 4 million will have type 2 diabetes, 27 million will have hypertension, and 38 million will have hepatic steatosis, or buildup of fat in the liver.
"These forecasts should sound an alarm bell for health service managers and health professionals, who will have to deal with this rising tide of ill health following the obesity epidemic," said Dr. Tim Lobstein, co-author of the Pediatric Obesity study. "In a sense, we hope these forecasts are wrong: they assume current trends continue, but we are urging governments to take strong measures to reduce childhood obesity and meet their agreed target of getting the levels of childhood obesity down to 2010 levels before we get to 2025."