Half of Europe overweight reveals OECD report

| 09/12/2010

(AFP): More than half of European adults are now overweight and too many children smoke or are obese, raising the risk of cancer or heart attacks, a European health report showed Tuesday.
Just over 15 percent of adults in the European Union are obese, a rate that has more than doubled over the past 20 years in most EU states, the study found. The obesity rate ranges from less than 10 percent in Romania and Italy to more than 20 percent in Britain, Ireland and Malta, said the report issued by the European Commission and the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD).

Among children aged between 11 and 15, one in seven is overweight or obese across the 27-nation bloc, and the figure will rise, the report said. The rate is higher in southern Europe, where one in five suffers from excessive weight.

"Children who are obese or overweight are more likely to suffer from poor health later in life, with a greater risk of developing heart disease, diabetes, some forms of cancer, arthritis, asthma, a reduced quality of life and even premature death," the commission said.

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