Childhood obesity, a scourge neglected by our policies


Beyond the commendable efforts of European medical research, it is urgent that the health authorities and political leaders of the European Union take up the problem.

A (yet foreseeable) consequence of the Covid-19 pandemic has gone unnoticed in France, because it has not been epidemiologically studied: the explosion of childhood obesity.

In 2019, this disease affected nearly 4% of French children; 20% were overweight. While these figures are much higher than those of the 1970s, they had been stable for twenty years thanks to the public health efforts of successive governments. Unfortunately, this balance was suddenly upset in 2020. While the precise state of play in France is not known, British data (and data from other European countries) are alarming: severe obesity in children has doubled in Great Britain for 2 years, and the age group around 6 years is the most affected with nearly 40% of children of this age overweight (including 25% obese and 6% very severely obese). This condition is also very unequal: it affects 34% of children from the least privileged socio-economic classes, against…

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