Obesity is one of the greatest public health challenges of the 21st century. Its prevalence has tripled in many countries of the WHO European Region since the 1980s, and the numbers of those affected continue to rise at an alarming rate. In addition to causing various physical disabilities and psychological problems, excess weight drastically increases a person’s risk of developing a number of noncommunicable diseases (NCDs), including cardiovascular disease, cancer and diabetes.

WHO/Europe approaches to obesity

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New tool helps countries identify foods with too much fat, sugar and salt

A first step in developing policies to restrict the marketing of such foods to children is to establish the criteria to identify them. WHO/Europe has developed a nutrient profile model for countries to adapt and use to classify foods according to their nutritional composition.


Video – WHO-FAO: Second International Conference on Nutrition

Data and statistics


The percentage of children who are overweight before puberty that will be overweight in early adulthood.

More data and statistics