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Weight Disparities in Children Worldwide

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When it comes to childhood health, lots of emphasis is placed on the risks of being overweight or obese—and an estimated 124 million kids worldwide were in those weight categories in 2016, a tenfold increase since 1975. While this is of great concern, a new study has found that in the same year, 192 million boys and girls were moderately or severely underweight. The researchers believe that family income levels may play a role in a child’s weight.

The data came from 2,416 population-based studies conducted between 1975 and 2016. Some 129 million people—31.5 million of them aged 5–19—were included in the studies.

The study appeared in The Lancet (2017; doi: dx.doi.org/10.1016/S0140-6736(17)32129-3).

Ryan Halvorson

Ryan Halvorson is an award-winning writer and editor, and IDEA's director of event programming.

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