• Topic: Health: Nutrition
  • Definition: Prevalence of overweight children is the percentage of children under age 5 whose weight for height is more than two standard deviations above the median for the international reference population of the corresponding age as established by the WHO's new child growth standards released in 2006.
  • Source: World Health Organization, Global Database on Child Growth and Malnutrition. Country-level data are unadjusted data from national surveys, and thus may not be comparable across countries. Adjusted, comparable data are available at Aggregation is based on UNICEF, WHO, and the World Bank harmonized dataset (adjusted, comparable data) and methodology.
  • General comments: Estimates of overweight children are also from national survey data. Once considered only a high-income economy problem, overweight children have become a growing concern in developing countries. Research shows an association between childhood obesity and a high prevalence of diabetes, respiratory disease, high blood pressure, and psychosocial and orthopedic disorders (de Onis and Blössner 2003). Childhood obesity is associated with a higher chance of obesity, premature death, and disability in adulthood. In addition to increased future risks, obese children experience breathing difficulties and increased risk of fractures, hypertension, early markers of cardiovascular disease, insulin resistance, and psychological effects. Children in low- and middle-income countries are more vulnerable to inadequate nutrition before birth and in infancy and early childhood. Many of these children are exposed to high-fat, high-sugar, high-salt, calorie-dense, micronutrient-poor foods, which tend be lower in cost than more nutritious foods. These dietary patterns, in conjunction with low levels of physical activity, result in sharp increases in childhood obesity, while under-nutrition continues

List of countries ordered by: Prevalence of overweight (% of children under 5)

Source: Health Nutrition and Population Statistics - World Bank - Downloaded in August 2017