Obesity problem persists for many European countries
May 15, 2008, 14:59 GMT
Geneva - All but four out of 27 EU countries plus Switzerland reported the majority of adult males as overweight, according to a new assessment of obesity rates published Thursday by the European Congress on Obesity.
Estonia, Latvia, Romania and Switzerland were the exceptions according to the data supplied by the International Association for the Study of Obesity (IASO) which has organized the four-day Congress in Geneva.
The data also showed the highest rate of obesity in men is found in Cyprus, followed by England, where around a quarter of the male populations are affected. While England and Scotland saw the highest prevalence of obesity in women at between 25 and 26 per cent.
Combined obesity and overweight is reported to be the highest among men in Cyprus (72 per cent) and for women in Scotland (60 per cent).
In England, France, Greece, Italy, Latvia and Lithuania obesity rates had risen for both men and women compared with earlier survey results but there was no update information for 10 countries.
In Germany, obesity levels showed very little improvement. IASO spokesman Neville Rigby said the country still had one of the worst rates in Europe.
A 2008 survey showed around a fifth of men and women suffered from obesity while combined obesity and overweight rates stood at 66 per cent for men and 59 per cent for women. An earlier study by Bertelsmann Health Monitor in 2004 showed rates of 75 per cent and 50 per cent.
Last year the German Government, launched a national health campaign Fit Instead of Fat to try to tackle the country's growing weight problem.
Rigby said the two studies were not directly comparable due to different age ranges studied and it did not mean that any government campaign had necessarily failed.
He added: 'It is a long term thing to try to reduce obesity levels that depends on a lot of different social factors from changes in diet, the food chain to levels of physical activity. It doesn't happen overnight.'