March 16, 2005

Rising obesity in Europe

This trend is documented in the IOTF media brief on obesity in the EU (pdf), and is especially worrying for the case of Greece (στα Ελληνικά). A related story:

At least U.S. has allies in coalition of the fat

March 16, 2005


BRUSSELS, Belgium -- At least seven European countries now challenge the United States in size -- at least around the waistline.

In a group of nations from Greece to Germany, the proportion of overweight or obese men is higher than in the United States, experts said Tuesday in a major analysis of expanding girth on the European continent.

''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.

In Cyprus, the Czech Republic, Finland, Germany, Greece, Malta and Slovakia, a higher percentage of men are obese or overweight than the estimated 67 percent of men in the United States, according to a report from the International Obesity Task Force.

Obesity is especially acute in Mediterranean countries, underscoring concerns that people in the southern region are turning away from the traditional diet of fish, fruits and vegetables to fast food high in fat and refined carbohydrates.

In Greece, for example, 38 percent of women are obese, compared with 34 percent in the United States, the group said.

Even in countries with low rates of obesity, troubling trends are emerging. In France, obesity in women and men is rising.

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