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 storyLatest 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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Video - FEEDCitiesMore videos about nutrition
1 in 3 11-year-olds is overweight or obeseDownload this infographic
PublicationsUsing dietary intake modelling to achieve population salt reduction - A guide to developing a country-specific salt reduction model (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