Obesity becomes epidemic in Europe

2022/05/04 Agirre Ruiz de Arkaute, Aitziber - Elhuyar Zientzia Iturria: Elhuyar aldizkaria

Ed. Pixabay

The latest report by the World Health Organization (WHO) provides data on obesity in Europe. The epidemic has already acquired a character throughout Europe, with 59% of adults and 28% of children and young people living from obesity. And he warns that this is the continent with the highest obesity rate in the world, with one exception: America.

WHO recalls that it is a long way from the goals of reducing non-communicable diseases set for 2025. It has stressed that obesity affects 13 per cent of deaths and significantly increases the likelihood of many non-communicable diseases: cancer, cardiovascular diseases, diabetes and chronic respiratory diseases. WHO recalls that obesity is a disease, not a risk factor.

He concluded that the increase in the obesity rate has also been a hidden consequence of the COFUNCTIONAL pandemic -19: eating and physical activity patterns have been modified, and the recovery of habits will require a specific effort.

They have proposed policy measures to change the structural factors of obesity: fiscal measures (taxation of high taxes on sugar-sweetened beverages and subsidies on vegetables and fruits); restrictions on the marketing of unhealthy foods for children; universal health coverage to continuously monitor obesity; mothers to breastfeed; to ensure the possibilities of physical activity… And it has recalled that a strong political commitment is needed to change these structural factors of obesity.

Commitment to nutrition in childhood, key

Human beings develop our adherence to childhood habits. Ed. Pixabay

At the same time, research puts on the table the worrying habits of youth: 70% of adolescents do not eat enough fruit and 90% consume little vegetables (UK data). Moreover, they do not consume enough dairy, whole rye, legumes or fish. Not only is it unsustainable for health, but also for the planet, according to researchers at the University of Birmingham.

They stress that the key is to adopt a diet that guarantees the health of the planet, as this will bring healthier eating habits and a reduction in obesity. And they warn that humans develop our adherence to childhood feeding habits. Therefore, the patterns of childhood condition all life.

Situation at CAPV

Save The Children has published in a report CAPV data that does not move away from Europeans. 24.7% of children and young people under the age of 16 live from obesity, confirming the effect of the pandemic, which was already 75% who ate a minimum quantity of fruits and vegetables daily, while after the pandemic it was 40%.

On the other hand, other effects of the pandemic are quantified, such as increased exposure time to screens (28% spend more than two hours a day) and reduced sleep (35 minutes less sleep). All three factors contribute to the development of obesity.

It also considers vulnerable children raised in low-income families. In 30% of high-income families, children and adolescents do not engage in regular physical activity, but the rate increases to 70% in low-income families. Save The Children has reaffirmed the need for policy measures to improve child and youth health.

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