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Step up action on childhood obesity


Childhood obesity is an issue with a clear health and economic imperative for action, and is increasingly garnering public and political attention worldwide.

Global political targets exist to ensure a ‘zero increase in overweight in under 5s’ and a ‘zero increase in obesity and diabetes’, as well as a WHO Implementation Plan to End Childhood Obesity to guide the response, centring around a set of population-based interventions. With insufficient progress to date and driven by unsustainable, unhealthy food systems and environments, childhood obesity is a major challenge that extends well beyond the health sector and demands political attention at the highest political level.


  • Implement comprehensive national childhood obesity strategies guided by the recommendations of the ICN2 Framework for Action and WHO’s Commission on Ending Childhood Obesity.
  • As part of national strategies, implement population-based regulatory and fiscal measures including promotion and protection of breastfeeding, front-of-pack labelling, restrictions of marketing foods and drinks to children, healthy fiscal policies including taxes on sugary drinks and subsidies on fruit and vegetables, and healthy school environments that guarantee physical activity and access to safe drinking water and healthy food.
  • Uphold public health objectives and the rights of children by actively protecting policy-making from industry interference and opposition to policy implementation.
  • Call upon WHO to provide technical cooperation to Member States to set national targets and implement regulatory and fiscal measures to address childhood obesity.
  • Call upon WHO, FAO and other UN agencies, international organisations and donors to leverage the UN Decade of Action on Nutrition to promote health-conducive food production and supply systems that reduce diet-related NCDs and contribute to ensure healthy diets for all.



Ambitious SMART commitments to address NCDs, overweight and obesity

This brief focuses on selected SMART commitments which target overweight, obesity and nutrition-related NCDs.