Even though health experts have stressed the importance of maintaining a good weight and an active lifestyle, new data suggest that obesity rates in Europe are rising. According to the World Health Organization (WHO) and the UK Health Forum, by 2030, Ireland could become Europe’s fattest nation.
However, the forecast rates vary throughout the 53 Euro-region countries, with projected male obesity levels ranging from 15% in the Netherlands and Belgium to 47% in Ireland.
The highest obesity prevalence in females was projected in Ireland (47%), and the lowest in Romania (10%).
“Our study presents a worrying picture of rising obesity across Europe. Policies to reverse this trend are urgently needed,” said Laura Webber from the UK Health Forum in London.
The statistical modelling study incorporated all available data on body mass index (BMI) and obesity/overweight trends in all 53 of the WHO’s Euro-region countries.
In almost all countries the proportion of overweight and obesity in males was projected to increase between 2010 and 2030 – to reach 75% in the Britain, 80% in Czech Republic, Spain and Poland, and 90% in Ireland, the highest level calculated.
The lowest projected levels of overweight and obesity were found in Belgium (44%), and the Netherlands (47%).
Similar trends in overweight and obesity were projected in women, with Ireland again showing the greatest proportion (84%).
The lowest male obesity prevalence was projected in Romania (10%).