The Co-Chairs of the World Health Organization Commission (WHO) on Ending Childhood Obesity, Sir Peter Gluckman, Science Advisor to the Prime Minister of New Zealand and Dr. Sania Nishtar, President, Heartfile presented the Commission’s final report to the Director General of the World Health Organization in Geneva. The two of them led a two-year process, which involved face-to-face meetings with more than a hundred countries in six continents, two online consultations, hearings with non-state actors and four meetings of the Commission itself to provide a report, details of which were featured by Time, Newsweek, the Guardian and many other international news avenues. The consensus on the difficult and multi-dimensional issue of childhood obesity achieved through this report and the consultative process that preceded it, now paves the way for global action to address the alarming levels of childhood obesity and overweight globally.
The report says Childhood obesity is reaching alarming proportions in many countries and poses an urgent and serious challenge. The Sustainable Development Goals, set by the United Nations in 2015, identify prevention and control of non-communicable diseases as core priorities. Among the non-communicable disease risk factors, obesity is particularly concerning and has the potential to negate many of the health benefits that have contributed to increased life expectancy. The prevalence of infant, childhood and adolescent obesity is rising around the world.