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Italy’s unsolved childhood obesity crisis
  1. Marco Silano1,
  2. Carlo Agostoni2,3,
  3. Giovanni Fattore4
  1. 1 Unit of Human Nutrition and Health, Department of Food Safety, Nutrition and Veterinary Public Health, Istituto Superiore di Sanità, Rome, Italy
  2. 2 Fondazione IRCCS Ca’ Granda Ospedale Maggiore Policlinico, UO Pediatria Media Intensità di Cura, Milan, Italy
  3. 3 Department of Clinical Sciences and Community Health (DISCCO), University of Milano, Milan, Italy
  4. 4 Department of Policy Analysis and Public Management, Centre for Research on Health and Social Care Management (CERGAS), Università Bocconi, Milan, Italy
  1. Correspondence to Dr Marco Silano, Unit of Human Nutrition and Health, Department of Food Safety, Nutrition and Veterinary Public Health, Istituto Superiore di Sanità, Rome, Italy; marco.silano{at}iss.it

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The Italian population is outperforming most European and Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) countries in life expectancy and infant mortality.1 However, data on the prevalence of obesity and overweight among children raise major concern. In 2016, Italy’s prevalence of childhood obesity and overweight was estimated at 9.3% and 22.5%, respectively.2 The evidence of social inequalities playing a role in obesity and overweight is well known,3 and the Italian data provide strong additional evidence. The probability of being obese was about 1 out of 20 children if the mother had a university degree, compared with about 1 out of 6 if she had less than 8 years of education. Beside this, prevalence is unexpectedly high and shows a strong regional north–south gradient that …

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