Obesity Also Exists in Low, Middle Income Nations: WHO Scientist
Overweight and obesity were not confined to higher income countries alone but prevalent in low and middle income nations too.
Overweight and obesity were not confined to higher income countries alone but prevalent in low and middle income nations too.(Photo: iStockphoto)

Obesity Also Exists in Low, Middle Income Nations: WHO Scientist

Overweight and obesity were not confined to higher income countries alone but prevalent in low and middle income nations too, World Health Organisation Chief Scientist Soumya Swaminathan said on 3 January, Friday.

The co-existence of overweight and obesity along with stunting was a new nutrition reality that needed to be addressed, she said delivering the first Dr C Gopalan Memorial Lecture at M S Swaminathan Research Foundation in Chennai.

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"We always think that under nutrition and deficiencies are problems of low-income countries and over weight and obesity are the problems of high income countries. But the new reality is these two co-exist in LMIC (low and middle income) countries, communities and also in households, globally", she said.

Globally, there were about 2.3 billion adults and children considered overweight. The burden of overweight and obesity was growing rapidly and the rate of under nutrition was declining, a release quoted her as having said.

She called for strengthening data systems, nutrition surveillance and surveys, decentralised planning and policies and focus on local consumption of diverse diets.

The lecture was organised as a mark of tribute to Dr C Gopalan, former Director General of Indian Council of Medical Research and known as the 'father of nutrition research in India' who died last year.

Noted agriculture scientist professor M S Swaminathan recalled his association with Gopalan and said "Dr Gopalan wanted to endorse the impact of India's Nutrition Research in the whole of Asia".

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