The World Health Organisation said on Monday that 41 million children under the age of five are either obese or overweight worldwide, up from 31 million in 1990. An independent panel on obesity that was commissioned by the WHO urged governments, educators, agricultural business and food marketers to do more in the fight against childhood obesity.

The committee told reporters in Geneva that biological and behavioral factors contribute to the increase in overweight children, particularly in parts of the developing world, reported AP. The panel called for "effective taxation on sugar-sweetened beverages" and school policies to foster good diet and physical activities.

The panel said that being obese wasn't the fault of the children. "You can't blame a two-year-old child for being fat and lazy and eating too much," said the committee's co-chairman Peter Gluckman.