Nearly 1,500 experts will meet from Thursday in Barcelona at the First World Congress of Nutrition and Public Health to try to curb childhood obesity, one star of the event. The problem is serious. According to the European Commissioner for Health and Consumer Protection, Markos Kyprianou says that overweight in children is becoming the character of 'real epidemic, "with about 400,000 new cases in the European Union (EU) each year.
In Spain, one in six children is obese and the trend is still rising. In 1984 the proportion of overweight children in the world developed was 4.9%, while today over 16%. The problem affects about 14 million children in the EU. Spain, where there are smaller and obese adults, has been placed at the head of the European Union, behind the UK. Following are the Mediterranean countries such as Malta, Portugal and Italy. According to Philip James, head of a work by the International Association for the Study of Obesity in Spain "changes are enormous," because it has gone from the traditional Mediterranean diet otherwise too rich in sugars and fats.
Although obesity depends on many factors, most medical professionals agreed to ensure that there are two key elements. The first is the inadequate diet and the second, the lack of physical exercise, a sedentary lifestyle. While in recent years the consumption of calories has increased by 19% between Spanish population, a sedentary lifestyle among the young has skyrocketed. 40% of children and adolescents do not perform any physical activity. Researchers such as a dietitian-nutritionist Pilar Cervera considered essential to educate children at school and at home, the need for a balanced and healthy diet. In her latest work, she suggests that the child population must include in their diet foods such as vegetables, fruits and legumes. This specialist says it is appropriate to consume "five times a day" Fruit, vegetables, "as raw as cooked," especially in the case of the most sensitive shortages and imbalances, such as children and adolescents, pregnant women and infants and the elderly.
The eve of the First World Congress on Nutrition and Health-VII Congress of the Spanish Society of Community Nutrition (SENC), next Wednesday, will hold a mini-meeting to the school population of fifth year of primary to be held at the National Institute of Physical Education of Catalonia (INEFC). The objectives of this mini-conference are to: promote healthy eating habits close to the Mediterranean diet, taking into account the constraints of the current environment; promote the participation of children and young people in managing the process food, and to propose measures and strategies to reduce the increase in childhood obesity.
There will attend some 300 Catalan centers that in the past and ongoing, from the field of health promoting schools, worked especially issues related to food and nutrition. These students developed decalogue proposals based on different fields, taking into account both dietary (habits, advertising, structure of meals, types of food and physical activity...), and environments (active play, sports, activities in schools, urban infrastructure...).