“When will we have the right to be born and grow up in France without social inequalities in health? “

Tribune. Surveys have shown that the majority (83%) of patients with Covid-19 hospitalized in intensive care are overweight or obese; the development and severity of the disease are marked by social inequalities.

This finding does not surprise our fellow doctors, they know that obese people are six times more likely to develop, for example, type 2 diabetes and that these problems more frequently affect people from disadvantaged backgrounds.

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They also know that 40% of obese adults were already obese in adolescence and that an obese child, at 10 years old, has an 80% risk of still being obese in adulthood! On the other hand, do we know that a child of workers is now four times more likely to be obese than a child of managers?

Ten times more obese children than in 1980

And even if we are talking about the stability of the progression of overweight and obesity in children, it is somewhat the tree that hides the forest of inequalities. The prevalence of overweight and obesity continues to increase among workers’ children, with an increase of 8% between 2009 and 2017, and a differential of 10 points versus the children of managers in whom obesity and overweight are stagnating or even regressing. At the World level,the situation is even more dramatic: According to figures from the World Health Organization (WHO), 6.7% of children are obese, the number of obese children and adolescents having increased tenfold over the past four decades.

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Are we going to continue doing nothing in the face of the catastrophe that these figures predict in the long term? Are we going to continue to orient our health systems on the curative when promoting a life in better shape for all, thanks to the prevention, is recognized as a determining element of the resistance to many diseases, chronic or viral?

Also, within the framework of the International Day of the Rights of the Child, on Friday 20 November, we are sounding the alarm: stop health inequalities from childhood, which are avoidable because they are linked to lifestyles. promoting overweight, obesity and a sedentary lifestyle. Stop the lack of ambition in health prevention.

Faced with an emergency situation, we must put an end to stagnation with foreseeable consequences in the medium or long term. All the more so since we have shown that we can act effectively with children to promote the acquisition of good eating practices, physical activity or sleep and thus prevent overweight and childhood obesity. .

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