Other news - Friday, 17 January, 2020

Childhood obesity has reached epidemic proportions in Europe

Not only is the sedentary lifestyle a major contributor to the epidemic spread of obesity, but according to nutritionists, obesity in adulthood can be attributed to high protein intake in the first 1,000 days in nearly a third of the cases. The baby's ideal diet is breast milk and the best formula is the one that has similar ingredients to breast milk. So in the first 1000 days it may be decided whether or not someone will be fat as an adult.

According to the German nutritionist Professor Berthold Koletzko, obesity in adulthood can be attributed to the too fast weight gain in infancy in 30 per cent of the cases. According to research by The EU Childhood Obesity Program (CHOP) covering several European countries, eating an excessive amount of protein or consuming protein of not the appropriate composition increases 2.5 times the risk of a child becoming overweight by 6 years of age. The results of the above research are extremely significant because obesity in Europe has reached epidemic proportions: currently around 14 million children are overweight and 3 million of them are obese.

According to the OECD’s health survey, Hungarians are the most obese in Europe. 28 per cent of adults are overweight but our children are already at risk of obesity as well: every fifth child between the ages of 2 and 17 is obese or overweight. Obesity increases the risk of serious illnesses such as diabetes or ischemic heart disease and its role in cancer competes with smoking.

“It is not enough to promote the active lifestyle, the prevention of obesity must be started in infancy. Therefore, health care professionals should raise awareness among breastfeeding mothers about the importance of early protein intake” - says dr. Dénes Molnár, professor at the University of Pécs Clinical Center Department of Paediatrics, president of the Hungarian Society of Paediatricians, and leader of the Hungarian IDEFICS research. According to the expert, excessive or inadequate protein intake has a significant effect on the adipocytes formed during infancy, as the so-called metabolic programming takes place in the first 1000 days, and the number of fat cells develops for a lifetime.

In addition, excessive protein intake increases insulin production, which increases hunger, which also contributes to unwanted weight gain.


News archives