Chapter 2 Sustainable Development Goal 2.2: Malnutrition

2.3 OVERWEIGHT AMONG CHILDREN UNDER 5 YEARS OF AGE

In 2022, the prevalence of overweight children under 5 years of age in the ECA region was 7.1 percent, higher than the global estimate of 5.7 percent. There was an increase in the ECA region from 2000 to 2005, a steadying from 2005 to 2010, and a continuous decline during the past decade (FIGURE 12, TABLE 9), from 9.7 percent in 2010 to 7.1 percent in 2022. Despite the decrease, the prevalence is more than double the 2030 target of reducing childhood overweight to less than 3 percent and maintaining it at that level.

In 2022, only Central Asia is slightly below the global estimate. The highest prevalence in the region (10.3 percent) was noted in the Western Balkans, close to double the global estimate. The Caucasus had the second-highest prevalence of overweight among children under 5 years of age (9.1 percent) in 2022. The data show decreased prevalence from 2000 to 2022 in the Caucasus, Central Asia, CIS Europe and Ukraine, and the Western Balkans. In the Central Asia and CIS Europe and Ukraine subregions, the prevalence has halved since 2000. On the other hand, the prevalence increased in the same period in the EFTA countries and in the EU-27 and the United Kingdom.

The prevalence of overweight among children under 5 years of age by country is presented in FIGURE 13. The prevalence declined from 2000 to 2022 in 20 of the 30 countries with available data. It remained stable in Kazakhstan and increased in nine countries (Azerbaijan, Belgium, Czechia, Estonia, Greece, the Kingdom of the Netherlands, Poland, Portugal and the United Kingdom).

FIGURE 12

Prevalence of overweight among children under 5 years of age by subregion

SOURCE: Adapted from UNICEF, WHO & The World Bank. 2023. UNICEF-WHO-The World Bank: Joint child malnutrition estimates - Levels and trends (2023 edition). [Cited 24 April 2023]. https://data.unicef.org/resources/jme-report-2023
Download: https://doi.org/10.4060/CC8608EN-fig12
TABLE 9.

Prevalence of overweight among children under 5 years of age by subregion, percent

2000200520102012201520202022
WORLD5.35.65.55.55.55.65.6
Europe and Central Asia8.79.79.79.38.47.27.1
Caucasus10.513.013.513.011.49.39.1
Central Asia10.110.79.38.26.75.15.0
CIS Europe and Ukraine17.218.716.314.211.38.38.2
EFTA countries5.75.96.66.87.17.47.4
EU-27 and the United Kingdom5.76.26.76.87.06.96.8
Other5.97.99.79.89.28.18.0
Western Balkans15.719.318.917.314.310.610.3
SOURCE: Adapted from UNICEF, WHO & The World Bank. 2023. UNICEF-WHO-The World Bank: Joint child malnutrition estimates - Levels and trends (2023 edition). [Cited 24 April 2023]. https://data.unicef.org/resources/jme-report-2023

In 2022, the highest prevalence, between 10 and 15 percent, was recorded in Albania, Armenia, Azerbaijan, Greece and the United Kingdom. Only the Republic of Moldova had a prevalence (2.9 percent) below the 2030 target of reducing childhood overweight to less than 3 percent and maintaining it at that level. Tajikistan (3.1 percent) was just minimally above the target.

FIGURE 13

Prevalence of overweight among children under 5 years of age by country and subregion

SOURCE: Adapted from UNICEF, WHO & The World Bank. 2023. UNICEF-WHO-The World Bank: Joint child malnutrition estimates - Levels and trends (2023 edition). [Cited 24 April 2023]. https://data.unicef.org/resources/jme-report-2023
Download: https://doi.org/10.4060/CC8608EN-fig13