A new study delivers bad news for Ireland on World Obesity Day as it says that Irish children are among the fattest in Europe.
Research from University College London (UCL) found that a staggering 124 million children around the world are now obese.
Proportionally, a high percentage are from Ireland where on average, the children are the 58th most obese in the world.
Irish kids are also the eighth fattest in Europe.
In order to combat the rising problem of obesity in Ireland, the government has introduced a sugar tax.
From April next year a two-litre bottle of coke will increase by 25% from €2.40 to €3.
Around the world, the percentage of youngsters with obesity has increased tenfold over the forty years, although numbers in the US and Europe have plateaued.
The study at UCL was carried out by Dr James Bentham who believes that falling poverty has played a significant role in the obesity epidemic.
He said: “We are seeing underweight continuing, it’s going down slowly. And then this quite sharp rise in obesity.
“So it may be that more people are getting more nutrition than they need.”
Researchers have also called on parents and schools to provide better nutrition at home and at school.
It is also important that children are able to get more physical exercise in order to reduce the risk of diabetes, heart disease and even some forms of cancers.