Italy and Malta, the Countries with the most obese children . UNICEF and the world health organization – who coordinate the Global Breastfeeding Collective to expand the political commitments in favour of breastfeeding – remember that around 40 million children under the age of 5 in the world already are overweight. Each year, through breast-feeding, in line with the international recommendations, can be avoided 100 thousand cases of childhood obesity. Among the 22 countries of the european area, Italy and Malta are among the countries with the highest prevalence of obesity among children who were never breastfed: more than 1 child out of 5, or 21.2%, followed by Spain with 21%
breastfeeding as a prevention. by Analyzing more than 100 studies on low -, medium-and high-income, breastfeeding was associated with a 26% reduction of overweight or obesity as adults. The protective effects of breastfeeding on overweight and type 2 diabetes are particularly powerful for children and adolescents. The role of breastfeeding in the prevention is crucial and is becoming a priority. According to a study conducted in several Countries in Europe, children breastfed for at least 6 months at risk that is much lower obesity than a child ever breastfed or breastfed for a shorter period of time.
The cost of obesity. Breastfeed according to the international recommendations could lead to savings of 302 billion dollars in health care costs each year, “Preventing childhood overweight and obesity is affordable, and invest in breastfeeding practices, optimal is a smart choice to reduce the cost of health care and to support the growth and development of children and nations,” – said the President of UNICEF Italy, Francesco Samengo. At the global level, the economic costs related to obesity are estimated at around $ 2 trillion, or 2.8% of global gross domestic product.
The pressure of the industries . In 2018, the industries that manufacture breast-milk substitutes have reached $ 61 billion of sales, the highest number ever and is expected to reach 119 billion by 2025. The commercial pressure of this industry and influence the families in the decision to breastfeed, with negative consequences on the health and lives of children. Unicef and the 0MS calling for Governments to the regulation of the industry of breast milk substitutes by implementing, monitoring and strengthening the international Code of Marketing of breast-milk substitutes and subsequent relevant Resolutions of the World Health Assembly – in particular the resolution 69.6 to put an end to the promotion of inappropriate food for infants and small children.
The request of Unicef and the WHO to the Government. Disseminate accurate information on the value of breastfeeding as a powerful intervention to prevent overweight and obesity; expand investment on breastfeeding to support mothers and children to achieve optimal nutrition; engage to have the paid leave, maternity, paternity, and other spaces to the size of the family, in employment policies; strengthen health systems by providing health care services for breastfeeding and motherhood, including support and professional advice on breast-feeding; to encourage the formation of support groups linked to health facilities to allow a continuous support for breastfeeding mothers.
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