According to new growth standards developed by the World Health Organization (WHO), twenty to thirty percent more young children may be overweight than previously thought.
The WHO laid down the new guidelines in an attempt to halt the increasing epidemic of childhood obesity. It estimates 20 million children under the age of five and one billion adults are overweight. The life-long consequences of being chronically overweight include diabetes and cardiovascular disease.
The new standards are based on a ten year study which found a childÃ¯Â¿Â½s growth is influenced more by environmental factors than genetics. The new standards include universal guidance for parents and health workers on healthy ranges for weight-for-age, height-for-age and weight-for-height.
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