Ireland is on its way towards becoming the most obese country in Europe.
According to the latest numbers from the World Health Organization (WHO), Europe is headed for an obesity crisis of “enormous proportions” by 2030, with Ireland in the lead.
In just 15 years time, the study predicted, 89% of men and 85% of women in the Republic of Ireland will be either overweight or obese. 57% of women in the Republic of Ireland will be obese, up from 23%, and 48% of Irish men will be obese, up from 26%.
Someone is classified as overweight if their Body Mass Index (BMI) falls within the range of 25 – 29.9, and clinically obese if their BMI is 30 or above.
Irish men topped the list of overweight and obese projections for males across European countries, tied with Uzbekistan. For women, Bulgaria and Belgium led the list.
These estimates, which have yet to be officially published, were presented by the WHO Modelling Obeisity project at the European Congress on Obesity, happening this week in Prague. The project analyzed current data as well as well as the previously projected figures for 2010 for 53 EU countries.
In addition to Ireland, other countries with alarming projections included Greece, Spain, Sweden, Austria and the Czech Republic. The country with the fittest projections is the Netherlands.
“Action taken today can prevent these predictions from becoming reality and in some European countries the trend is already flattening off thanks to preventive measures including successes, for example, in the area of childhood obesity,” said Dr. Joao Breda of the WHO regional office for Europe.
In the US, a 2012 study by the Trust for America’s Health showed that by 2030, in every state, at least 44% of the population would be obese – in some states this projection was as high as 60%.
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