The World Health Organisation (WHO) has warned that lack of physical inactivity and diets high in fats, salts and sugars has led to obesity and overweight is becoming “the new norm” throughout Europe.
Up to 27 percent of Europe’s 13-year-olds and 33 percent of 11-year-olds are overweight, officials said ahead of an EU summit in Greece with a special focus on “the grave public health concern” of childhood obesity.
Countries with the highest proportion of overweight 11-year-olds included Greece, with 33 percent, Portugal (32 percent), and Ireland and Spain, both with 30 percent, the Independent reported.
Overall the UK is performing slightly better, but in Wales 30 percent of 11-year-old boys are overweight.
The WHO’s regional director for Europe, Zsuzsanna Jakab, said that Europeans’ “perception of what is normal has shifted”.
She said that being overweight is now more common than unusual, adding that we must not let another generation grow up with obesity as the new norm.
Inactivity, listed by the WHO as the fourth leading cause of death globally, is now viewed as one of the major health threats affecting developed countries.
In the UK more than two thirds of people over the age of 15 were insufficiently active, according to the WHO’s latest data, from 2008.
It is recommended that adults get 150 minutes moderate-intensity exercise per week, while children and adolescents should have an hour per day, according to international guidelines.
Source: Yahoo news