Childhood obesity panel: 41 million kids under 5 overweight

GENEVA (AP) — An independent panel on obesity commissioned by the World Health Organization is urging governments, educators, agribusiness and food marketers to do more to help fight childhood obesity.

In a report Monday, the Commission on Ending Childhood Obesity says 41 million kids under age 5 are now obese or overweight worldwide, up from 31 million in 1990. It warns rates could rise.

The panel’s co-chairs told reporters in Geneva that biological and behavioral factors contribute to the increase, particularly in parts of the developing world.

Among other things, the panel calls for “effective taxation on sugar-sweetened beverages” and school policies to foster good diet and physical activities.

Co-chair Peter Gluckman said: “It’s not the kids’ fault. You can’t blame a 2-year-old child for being fat and lazy and eating too much.”

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