Worldwide Trends in Body-mass Index, Underweight, Overweight, and Obesity from 1975 to 2016
The study shows that over the past four decades, mean Body Mass Index (BMI) and obesity in children and adolescents aged 5–19 years have increased in most regions. Despite this rise, more children and adolescents are moderately or severely underweight than obese, with the burden of underweight increasingly concentrated in South Asia and Central, East, and West Africa. These findings highlight the disconnect between the global dialogue on overweight and obesity, which has largely overlooked the remaining undernutrition burden, and the initiatives focusing on undernutrition that have paid little attention to the looming burden of overweight and obesity. To coherently address this trend, national and international agencies and donors should work towards replacing the fragmented focus with an integrated approach to tackle underweight and overweight in children and adolescents.