A new study from WHO/Europe shows that, despite efforts aimed at prevention, parts of the WHO European Region continue to struggle with comparably higher rates of childhood obesity, while a second study shows that babies who have never or only infrequently been breastfed have an increased risk of becoming obese as children.

Progress on tackling the childhood obesity crisis has been slow and inconsistent throughout the Region, according to the 2 studies released at this year’s European Congress on Obesity in Glasgow, United Kingdom.

“The longer a child is breastfed, the greater their protection from obesity. This knowledge can strengthen our efforts in preventing obesity. Acting on childhood obesity – including severe obesity – can have major benefits, not only for child health and well-being, but also for national health care systems, so we must do all we can to promote and protect breastfeeding across the Region,” said Dr Bente Mikkelsen, Director of the Division of Noncommunicable Diseases and Promoting Health through the Life-course, WHO/Europe.

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Consequences of severe obesity

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