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
Top storyNew WHO studies: Europe battles childhood obesity and experts confirm breastfeeding protects against child obesity
A new study from WHO/Europe shows that, despite efforts aimed at prevention, parts of the WHO European Region continue to struggle with comparably higher rates of childhood obesity, while a second study shows that babies who have never or only infrequently been breastfed have an increased risk of becoming obese as children.
- New WHO studies: Europe battles childhood obesity and experts confirm breastfeeding protects against child obesity
- Member States urged to ramp up fight against noncommunicable diseases
- WHO walks the talk at the High-level Conference in Ashgabat
Video - FEEDCitiesMore videos about nutrition
1 in 3 11-year-olds is overweight or obeseDownload this infographic
PublicationsWhat is the evidence on the policy specifications, development processes and effectiveness of existing front-of-pack food labelling policies in the WHO European Region? (2018) More publications
- Vienna Declaration on Nutrition and Noncommunicable Diseases in the Context of Health 2020
- European Charter on Counteracting Obesity
- Action Plan for the Prevention and Control of Noncommunicable Diseases in the WHO European Region 2016–2025
- European Food and Nutrition Action Plan 2015–2020
Data and statistics
The percentage of children who are overweight before puberty that will be overweight in early adulthood.
More data and statistics