While a third of children in North and South America are currently overweight, the figure will be more than 50% of all children by 2010, reports MedicalNewsToday.com. The report in the International Journal of Pediatric Obesity written by Philip James, chairman of the International Obesity Task Force, also predicts 38% of all children in the European Union will be overweight by 2010.

In addition, 25% of all children in China will be overweight by 2010. Problems also loom for many kids in the Middle East, Southeast Asia, Mexico, Chile, Brazil and Egypt

Experts say this trend will have an enormous impact on public health care and the economy, the article says. "This is going to be the first generation that's going to have a lower life expectancy than their parents," James says. An obese child will most probably carry health problems into his/her adulthood, suffering such health consequences as diabetes II, hypertension, heart disease, stroke, cancer and lower recovery chances from cancer.

Two reasons cited for the tubbiness of kids are diet and lack of physical activity.

James calls it a "global epidemic" where even children in the developing world are being bombarded like Western children "to eat all the wrong foods." James believes a ban should be implemented on all forms of marketing aimed at young children, not just TV ads (regarding junk foods).

The researchers studied published medical reports on obesity from 1980-2005, as well as World Health Organization. Analyzed were data on school-age children from 25 countries and preschoolers from 42 countries. -- Joe Roybal