WHO Predicts Childhood Obesity Cases to Increase

October 18, 2014

Unlocking Word Meanings

Read the following words/expressions found in today’s article. 

1. obese /oʊˈbis/ (adj.) – referring to a very fat or heavy person
Example: Consuming too much calories can make you obese.

2. escalate /ˈɛskəˌleɪt/ (v.) – to increase or become greater
Example: Lack of exercise escalated his risk of having obesity.

3. optimization /ˌɒp tə məˈzeɪ ʃən/ (n.) – the process of making something as effective as possible
Example: The system optimization has significantly improved the efficiency of the company.

4. wean /win/ (v.) – to introduce other food than breast milk to a child
Example: I started weaning my daughter so I feed her with carrots and potatoes.

5. noncommunicable /ˌnɒnkəˈmyunɪkəbəl/ (adj.) – cannot be transmitted through direct contact
Example Diabetes and cancer are noncommunicable diseases.


Read the text below.
The World Health Organization (WHO) reports that the number of overweight or obese children has significantly increased and would reach 70 million by year 2025.

Obesity cases involving children are escalating, especially in African countries. A study from WHO reveals that the number of obese children in the continent grew from 4 million in 1990 to 10 million in 2012.

During the same time frame, the global number of obese kids increased from 31 million to 44 million, having a 42 percentage increase.

Peter Gluckman, co-chair of the Commission on Ending Childhood Obesity, said that children who fall into the heavier weight categories are likely to become obese adults. This, in turn, may lead to having heart disease, cancer, or diabetes.

Gluckman believes that addressing this problem requires a strategy different from what is used in adults. He identified two ways that can lessen childhood obesity. First is female health optimization, which is important in promoting breast feeding and weaning behaviors in children. Second is to make sure that parents encourage healthy eating and diet among children.

Some countries also experience problems associated with both malnutrition and obesity. One of the main causes of these problems is how most children are conditioned in environments with frequent use of fatty oils, fried food, and other unhealthy meals.

Before, infectious diseases posed as major threats in people’s health. But nowadays, noncommunicable diseases like heart disease, stroke, diabetes, and cancer emerge as bigger problems. This has been linked to four factors: unhealthy diet, inadequate physical activity, and abusive use of alcohol and tobacco.

The commission is continuing the study to prevent and reverse obesity in childhood. It is set to deliver its report to the organization’s director next year.

Viewpoint Discussion

Enjoy a discussion with your tutor.  

Discussion A

·         Do you agree that overweight children are more likely to become obese adults? Why or why not?
·         What do you think are the major factors that cause obesity?

Discussion B

·         What other problems do you think can branch out from being obese?
·         What activities can you suggest to avoid being obese?

October 18, 2014