Obesity

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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Latest data shows southern European countries have highest rate of childhood obesity

The latest data (2015–2017) from the WHO Childhood Obesity Surveillance Initiative (COSI) show that southern European countries have the highest rate of child obesity. In Cyprus, Greece, Italy, Malta, San Marino and Spain, approximately 1 in 5 boys (ranging from 18% to 21%) are obese. Denmark, France, Ireland, Latvia and Norway are among the countries with the lowest rates, ranging from 5% to 9% in either sex.

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1 in 3 11-year-olds is overweight or obese

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Data and statistics

60%

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


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