Childhood obesity rising in SA: report

JOHANNESBURG - Child obesity is growing in South Africa according to the 2019 SA Child Gauge Report.

At least 13 percent of children under the age of five are obese.

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In a more positive finding, there's a decrease in the number of children deficient in Vitamin A.

Lori Lake, editor of the 2019 Child Gauge report and Education Specialist from the UCT's Children's Institute, said one in four young children are stunted.

"That means they're chronically malnourished and it's not just a matter of being short for their age.

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"Stunting also influenced their education and their employment prospects across the life course. So there is a real concern around stunting which is a real concern around child poverty."

The dual rising epidemic of youth obesity that comes with the concomitant lifestyle diseases is a serious concern for the public healthcare system, Lake said.