But in the UK there is a glimmer of hope that childhood obesity may have peaked. Compared with 2011/12, rates in 2012/13 fell slightly in schoolchildren in Reception and Year 6 in England, and the prevalence of obese and overweight children combined at these ages fell for the first time since the Child Measurement Programme began in 2006/7.
Findings of the Health Survey for England in December also provided a hint that obesity rates in adults may be plateauing.
Beginning to pay off
The changes are small but they are welcome and suggest that the emphasis on tackling obesity is beginning to pay off.
That said, there's certainly no room for complacency, with obesity rates of 9.3% and 18.9% at ages five and 11 respectively and about 25% in adults. Local authorities in England have now ring fenced budgets to tackle a range of public health issues including obesity, providing the opportunity to use local insight to address national issues in a targeted manner.