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Greece Leads the World in Overweight and Obese Kids

  • Th5 17, 2016

The Mexican government is attempting to combat its childhood obesity rates by restricting ads for unhealthy food during kids’ TV shows and movies. The move goes beyond any measures taken in the U.S. to restrict food advertising.

Here’s a look at the percentages of overweight and obese children in countries around the world, using 2010 or nearer data from the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development.

According to the Mexican government’s statistics, more a third of Mexican children aged 5-19 are obese or overweight. In the U.S., 2009-2010 data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention show an estimated 32% of U.S. kids aged 2-19 are overweight or obese; 17% are considered obese. By comparison, the rate of obese kids in the U.S. was 5.1% in 1971-1974.

The reasons for differences in data between the CDC, OECD and the Mexican government, not to mention other health organizations, have to do with their studies’ particulars: ages included in the study, definitions of overweight and obese as well as different samples and sample dates. Notice, for example, that the OECD measures kids from 5-17, while the CDC breaks it up from 2-19, as well as 2-5, 6-11 and 12-19. The CDC defines obese as a body mass index greater than or equal to the 95th percentile of the sex- and age-specific 2000 CDC growth charts.

According to the OECD data, Greece has the highest rate of overweight and obese children (aged 5-17) in the world, followed by Italy, U.S. and Mexico.

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