A report commissioned by the World Health Organization calls for governments, educators and the food industry to combat childhood obesity.
The independent Commission for Ending Childhood Obesity says there are 41 million children under five years of age who are obese, an increase of 10 million from 1990.The developing world has seen obesity rates double since 1990.
These dramatic increases were called an “exploding nightmare” in the report released Monday.
It said driving the rise are biological factors, lack of healthy food, a more sedentary lifestyle and the marketing of fattening foods.
The commission suggests steps to combat rising obesity include an "effective taxation on sugar-sweetened beverages'' as well as better education to promote healthy eating and exercise.
"It is not the kids' fault,” said commission co-chair Peter Gluckman.“You can not blame a two-year-old child for being fat and lazy and eating too much.''
If left unchecked, obesity “has the potential to negate many of the health benefits that have contributed to the increased longevity observed in the world," according to the report.
"To date, progress in tackling childhood obesity has been slow and inconsistent," write the report’s authors.