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Publication(Washington, DC: World Bank, 2020) Shekar, Meera ; Popkin, Barry ; Shekar, Meera ; Popkin, Barry ; Dayton Eberwein, Julia ; Dayton Eberwein, Julia ; Oddo, Vanessa ; Akuoku, Jonathan Kweku ; Shibata Okamura, Kyoko ; Schneider, Pia ; Block, Charlotte ; Provo, Anne Marie ; Provo, Anne MarieObesity is a global ticking time-bomb with huge potential negative economic and health impacts, especially for the poor. As of 2016, an estimated 44 percent of adults (more than 2 billion) worldwide are overweight/obese, and over 70 percent of them live in low- or middle-income countries, dispelling the myth that obesity is a problem only in high-income countries. The global obesity epidemic presents a formidable challenge to human capital acquisition, national wealth accumulation, and the goals of ending extreme poverty and boosting shared prosperity. Given the renewed global focus on human capital, its links to the obesity epidemic, and the growing evidence base for double- and triple-duty actions, there is both an urgent need for action and a great opportunity for engagement that will require both a whole-of-government and a whole-of-development partner approach. Countries and global partners need to act urgently to address this ensuing epidemic with emphasis highlighting interventions that require corrective public action rather than one of individual responsibility.
No Small Matter : The Impact of Poverty, Shocks, and Human Capital Investments in Early Childhood Development(World Bank, 2011-02-24) Alderman, Harold ; Alderman, HaroldThe relative lack of attention to early childhood development in many developing countries remains a puzzle, and an opportunity. There is increasing evidence that investments in the nutritional, cognitive, and socio-emotional development of young children have high payoffs. Researchers and development practitioners are building on this evidence to raise the topic's profile and bring it to the attention of decision makers. This volume is an important contribution to these efforts. It thoroughly and carefully reviews the most recent empirical literature linking early childhood development outcomes, poverty, and shocks. In doing so, it brings an added perspective to the debate and makes the case that investments in the first years of life have the potential to be a critical component of poverty reduction strategies. The volume also goes beyond simply documenting the consequences of insufficient or inadequate focus on early childhood and identifies the range of policy options available to policy makers. The Human Development Perspectives series seeks to present thorough research findings on issues of critical strategic importance for developing countries. At its core is the perspective that investments in human capital are an essential aspect of efforts to promote global development and eradicate poverty. This volume makes it convincingly clear that investing in and protecting the human capital of young children is no small matter.