Now we're fatter than the Americans
We're fatter than the Americans. In many European countries, a higher proportion of blokes are overweight or obese than even in the USA — the traditional home of the heavyweight.
Two out of three US men — 67% - are overweight or obese. Finland, Germany, Greece, Cyprus, the Czech Republic, Slovakia and Malta have now all exceeded this figure. England and Wales are not far behind.
The EU is so worried about it that it has launched its own campaign against obesity. 'The time when obesity was thought to be a problem on the other side of the Atlantic has gone by,' said Mars Di Bartolomeo, Luxembourg's Minister of Health.
The tubby top ten:
- Greece (78.6% of blokes are overweight or obese)
- Germany (75.4%)
- Czech Republic (73.2%)
- Cyprus (72.6%)
- Slovakia (69%)
- Malta (68%)
- Finland (67.8%)
- Slovenia (66.5%)
- Ireland (66.4%)
- England and Wales (65.4%).
Overweight is defined as a BMI (body mass index) of 25 or more. Obese is a BMI of 30 or more. Figures are collected in different ways in different countries but the basic fact is undeniable. Europe's weight problem is just as, er, big, as the USA's.
The International Obesity Task Force, a global coalition of obesity scientists and research centres advising the European Union, estimated in 2003 that at least 200m of the 350m adults living in what is now the European Union may be overweight or obese. They were particularly worried about children. They estimated that among the EU's 103m children, the number overweight rises by 400,000 each year.
Being overweight can considerably increase the risk of diseases such as diabetes, heart disease, high blood pressure, strokes, respiratory disease, arthritis and some types of cancer.
Page created on March 21st, 2005
Page updated on December 18th, 2009