Policy Interventions to address childhood and adolescent obesity linked to 'Junk Food' consumption: 'Lessons for Nepal'
Childhood and adolescent obesity is increasing at an alarming rate and is a public health concern worldwide. Childhood and adolescent obesity, once considered as a problem only in developed countries, are now causing double burden of malnutrition in developing countries. Junk food industry and its consumption are also increasing in South Asia in the past decade. This study provides a comprehensive overview of the recent documents, articles and reports on childhood and adolescent obesity and different food policies to prevent obesity. Methods: Different articles, documents, reports were searched using QMU online library, Cinahl, Scopus, Medline, PubMed, Google Scholar and Science direct to conduct scoping review. Findings: Risk factors of overweight and obesity among children and adolescent in South Asia are lack of physical activity, watching television and playing with modern technologies, family history of obesity, socio-economic status (SES) and dietary behaviour. Due to nutrition transition in South Asia, the dietary behaviour has been changed to junk food due to change in lifestyle and adaptation of meal patterns, popularity of street foods, growing business of supermarkets, fast food industry and role of advertising. Junk food creates enabling environment for physical inactivity, high calorie intake and replaces other nutritious food and causes childhood and adolescent obesity. Different food policies like national nutrition guideline, nutrition labelling, school focussed food policy, economic policy and food marketing policies have been adopted across the globe. National nutrition guideline and nutrition labelling is somehow being implemented and other policies requires enabling environment to implement in Nepal. However, no policies have been intended directly to address childhood and adolescent obesity due to 'junk food' consumption. Key words: childhood, adolescent, obesity, food policy, and junk food.