WHO interim report from the Commission on Ending Childhood Obesity

24 March 2015

The World Health Organisation has released the interim report from the Commission on Ending Childhood Obesity. 

Liggins Institute Professor Sir Peter Gluckman is Co-Chair of the Commission with Dr Sania Nishtar, former Minister of Science, Technology, Education and Training in Pakistan.

The interim report serves as a consultation document and the Commission will be holding hearings in all of the WHO global regions to gather feedback.

Key points of the interim report include:

  • The problem of childhood obesity affects both developed and developing economies;
  • The health, social and societal consequences of childhood obesity merit urgent action;

  • Many children who are not yet obese are on the pathway to obesity and its health complications;

  • Childhood obesity has its origins in multiple factors including biological, behavioural (individuals, peers and families) and contextual;

  • Governments have a critical leadership role and solutions will involve multiple agencies of government;

  • Civil society, NGOs and the private sector also have a critical role to play, and more constructive relationships will be needed;

  • Addressing childhood obesity requires attention not just to the obesogenic environment but also to life course dimensions, and any
    approaches that do not consider both are unlikely to succeed;

  • The interim report highlights a suite of strategies that are likely to be needed but that will require tailoring to local circumstance and context.

    The Commission will produce its final report by December 2015.


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