Obesity continues to threaten young children

A recent report by the Commission on Ending Childhood Obesity (ECHO) draws attention to the alarming rise of childhood obesity and the serious threat it poses to the health of children under the age of five years old.

Weekend Breakfast's Sam Cowen and Africa Melane spoke to Dr Anniza de Villiers, who specialises in obesity in children at the Medical Research Council.

Listen to the conversation below...

There are 42 million children in the world that are obese, not just overweight. And that in the African region alone it's about 49 million children.

Dr Anniza de Villiers, Medical Research Council

I think it's not just what parents do wrong. I think parents aren't the only guilty ones. It's advertising, it's parents, it's what happens even before the pregnancy, it's breastfeeding, it's physical activities at school. It's a multi-layered problem. It's difficult for parents because they have to raise their children in obesogenic environment.

Dr Anniza de Villiers, Medical Research Council

It cannot be just up to parents. There has to be government intervention, like the sugar tax that they are envisioning.

Dr Anniza de Villiers, Medical Research Council

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