Changing lifestyles and the growing popularity of junk food is expected to lead to a climb in childhood obesity
over the coming decade. It is expected to be particularly prevalent in developing countries where traditional diets are becoming westernized and consumption rates of starch, suger, oil and fat is increasing. That's according to the World Obesity Federation's Atlas of Childhood Obesity
which predicts 250 million children and adolescents will be obese by 2030.
That's certainly a considerable increase on the current 158 million children and adolescents classified as obese. China (62 million), India (27 million) and the United States (17 million) are expected to have the highest number of obese children globally in absolute terms by 2030, though smaller countries will be more at risk
. The report identified the island nations of the Cook Islands, Kiribati and the Federated States of Micronesia as most at risk.
Childhood obesity is already manifesting itself in those countries and by 2030, 46 percent of all children aged 5-9 are predicted to be obese in the Cook Islands. Such alarming numbers are not just confined to small countries, however, and the share of obese 5-9 year olds in China is forecast to be 32 percent by then. The Cook Islands are once again expected to be top for obesity among adolescents aged 10-19 in 2030 with 42 percent. By comparison, just under a quarter of adolescents in the U.S. will also be obese by then.