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Too Much Bissli? Study Says 25% of Israeli Children are Obese

Study from Israeli Ministry of Health says 1 out of 4 Israeli children are obese; in the States, it's 1 out of 3

By: Zak Edwards
Published: November 15th, 2013 in Health » Israel
Bissli snacks

While not nearly the rate of America’s 1 in 3 rate of childhood obesity, Israeli childhood obesity has officially reached 25%, reports the Times of Israel.

According to a study released by the Israeli Ministry of Health, Israeli children are getting larger, which is directly related to health complications later in life, like diabetes and heart disease. While a rate like 25% does not compare with Canada’s 31% or some European countries, it does add to the ongoing obesity epidemic affecting much of the world.

The World Health Organization calls childhood obesity “one of the most serious public health challenges of the 21st century,” particularly among lower income families.

In fact, “food deserts,” defined by the USDA as urban areas that lack whole food providers in favour of local quickie marts and fast food providers, are a large concern in the United States that is difficult to solve. But, as a result, many low and middle income families contribute to obesity rates based largely on a lack of access to healthy foods.

Israel’s Ministry of Health is introducing a new program in response to their findings that will promote “healthy nutrition habits and physical activity among all population groups,” with a particular focus on children. Part of the program, the Times of Israel reports, “includes encouragement for kindergarten teachers to ‘reduce the consumption of sweets and foods full of sugar.’”

As obesity in children is likely to lead to adult obesity, focusing on education and forming new habits in youth could help reduce health complications in the future.

Related articles: Health News, Obesity, Childhood Obesity, Israel News, Bissli, World Health Organization
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