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31 July 2015

The WHO warns that the next food epidemic will be obesity

Europe faces a worrying prospect if the dramatic increase in overweight or obese citizens is not reversed.

The World Health Organization has compiled a table of data concerning the eating habits of the European population.
The disturbing forecasts reveal that by 2030 70% of men may be overweight, while around 50% of women will be carrying extra kilos. Numbers from 57 European countries were crunched for the study.

Although the report highlights widespread awareness of diet and more prudent preferences for “healthy” foods, the table drawn up by the WHO does not ignore a variety of factors which can aggravate endemic problems. We know that there can be many reasons causing obesity.
It is not simply a matter of eating too much or showing a lack of restraint. There are several factors that can push us towards a body mass index (BMI) between 25 and 29.9, or towards obesity with a BMI of 30 or higher. Among these are the increase in food allergies, disrupted sleep patterns caused by stress and constant deviation from a regular diet – along with the misguided assumption that going to the gym will make everything right.

In fact, eating too little can be extremely detrimental to weight control because it significantly slows down the metabolism.

Equally problematic in terms of our physical health are high-calorie drinks, which are often a factor in our battle with the weighing scales. Of course, the WHO’s data is only a forecast, an indication of what could happen in a few years, but this timely warning clearly underlines the need for a much more effective campaign to prevent obesity in the face of current complacent attitudes.

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