The World Health Organisation European Office has published Adolescent obesity and related behaviours: trends and inequalities in the WHO European Region, 2002–2014.
The report presents the latest trends in obesity, eating behaviours, physical activity and sedentary behaviour from the health behaviour in school-aged children (HBSC) study, and highlights gender and socioeconomic inequalities across the WHO European Region.
Childhood obesity is considered one of the most serious public health challenges of the 21st century. Obese children are at greater risk of type 2 diabetes, asthma, sleep difficulties, musculoskeletal problems and future cardiovascular disease, as well as school absence, psychological problems and social isolation.
The report argues that policy initiatives and interventions need to target high-risk adolescents within the context of families, schools and wider communities, and suggests policies that improve young people’s access to healthy diets should be a priority. It also recommends built environments be improved so that physical activity is re-established as an integral part of daily living.
Additional link: WHO press release