UK women are 'fattest in Europe'

An overweight person walks through Glasgow City centre Statisticians looked at the 19 European states data was available for

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The UK has more obese women than any other country in Europe, according to European Union figures.

Data agency Eurostat, which looked at 19 countries, found nearly a quarter of UK women - 23.9% - were recorded as being obese in the year 2008 to 2009.

Just over 22% of UK men were classed as obese, coming second only to Malta.

A person is defined as obese if their body mass index (BMI), the result of a calculation involving weight and height, is above a certain level.

The BMI correlates fairly well with body fat.

Statisticians found the share of overweight and obese people increases with age in all of the 19 member states that data was available for.

The data come from the European Health Interview Survey (EHIS) and was published by Eurostat, the statistical office of the European Union.

Its figures for the UK were based on data from England, although surveys suggest the percentage of obese adults in Wales and Northern Ireland is similar and Scotland's latest health report put the figure at 28%.

After the UK, the countries with the highest levels of female obesity were Malta, with 21.1%, and Latvia, where 20.9% fulfilled that criteria.

Meanwhile, after Malta and the UK, the countries with the highest instances of male obesity were Hungary - where 21.4% fall into that category - and the Czech Republic, where 18.4% are classed as such.

How to work out your BMI

  • Work out your height in metres and multiply the figure by itself
  • Measure your weight in kilograms
  • Divide the weight by the height squared
  • For example, if you are 1.6m (5ft 3in) tall and weigh 65kg (10st 3lb), the calculation would then be: 65 รท (1.6 x 1.6 = 2.56) = 25.39
  • A BMI of less than 18.5 is underweight
  • A BMI of 18.5-25 is ideal
  • A BMI of 25-30 is overweight
  • A score of 30 or above is obese

The UK's high levels of obesity are in stark contrast to those in countries such as Romania, where just 8% of women were classed as obese along with 7.6% of men.

Obesity levels were also found to be low in Italy, Bulgaria and France.

In Italy, 9.3% of women were found to be obese and 11.3% men.

Meanwhile, in Bulgaria levels of obesity for women and men were found to be 11.3% and 11.6%, with levels of France identified as being 12.7% and 11.7% respectively.

The figures suggested that the proportion of women who are obese or overweight falls as the educational level rises.

Last month, Health Secretary Andrew Lansley launched a bid to reduce obesity levels in England by 2020.

The minister said people need to be honest with themselves about how much they eat and drink.

He said that, overall, Britons should be eating five billion fewer calories a day than at present.


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  • rate this

    Comment number 1079.

    Lots of judgemental..shallow....pig headed...self centred people on here wonder this world is turning to s---!

  • Comment number 1078.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • Comment number 1077.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • rate this

    Comment number 1076.

    26 Minutes ago

    Australia? USA?

    I know,I know,reality is boring.

    reality as u would know it would be finger excercise on the tv remote switching from Corrie to Eastenders in ur pommie house while drinking tea with milk and eating greasy hot chips.

  • rate this

    Comment number 1075.

    Yet more evidence that the government's and many experts' way of tackling obesity is simply ridiculous.

    We simply eat too much in this country, and what we dont stuff in our faces we throw in the bin.

    We MUST get away from this culture that BIG portions are somehow a bargain. They are not - they make supermarkets rich and make us fat.

    Reject Buy 1 get 1 free - and just eat LESS!

  • rate this

    Comment number 1074.

    I am sure that current clothing technology is sufficient to allow women to get to previously unsupportable weights without the need for the conventional block and tackle, or some other sophisticated system of weights and pulleys.

  • rate this

    Comment number 1073.

    @1067 Why should society be to blame?

    Fat people are part of society, and it's time people took responsibility for their own actions rather than blaming others. It's the same excuse piped out for every issue just recently (riots, prisons, healthcare) and it makes me sick.

  • rate this

    Comment number 1072.

    Probably in alot of cases comfort eating is a problem. I think everyone does it to some extent ..eating when bored/stressed/feeling miserable etc...I think we live in an ever increasingly stressful society where we rush around working ever harder to get more material things.. stress manifests in over-eating etc, perhaps we should all slow down, focus less on material things and enjoy life more..

  • rate this

    Comment number 1071.

    I'm curious, seriously, about those who don't have enough time to exercise and cook. How much time do you spend watching TV?

    And even without giving up much TV time, you could spend a few minutes preparing food, then watch TV while it cooks, if you must. Or better yet spend some quality time with the kids. Set a timer, and lo and behold, good food!

  • rate this

    Comment number 1070.

    1063.Your Uncle Bob
    2 Minutes ago
    1042. ludwigvb

    Fair enough. Maybe someone should tell their customers though,. And ban them from sponsoring sport events

    Or treat the athletes like racng cars sponsored by fuel companies and force them to eat McDonkey before each event.

  • rate this

    Comment number 1069.

    Whether it's a complex set of issues or a very simplistic reason why we find ourselves in this situation, it is appalling! So many people, especially those who are young and children extremely overweight and seemingly helpless or resigned to it.
    It's now a culture issue and those are the hardest to address!!!!

  • rate this

    Comment number 1068.

    Fat Police, We hope many large beasts become successful the energy provided will be regulated along with potential candidates & growth figures estimate this will cut our countries deficit provided we do not loose valuable ideas like Jacamo.

  • rate this

    Comment number 1067.

    There are various factors here. Firstly there is a genetic tendency, of course there is, and some people find it harder to stay slim than others. Secondly, time: it's often easier to eat ready meals and other unhealthy options when in a hurry and tired. But culture and education are the main deciders in people's weight longterm and as such society as a whole must take at least some responsibility.

  • rate this

    Comment number 1066.

    Why don't these lardy ladies (and gents) just get real - it is a complete lack of will power and self respect - stop stuffing your faces with rubbish and costing the country and yourselves dear with all the related health problems. Get a life and cut the pathetic self pity.

  • rate this

    Comment number 1065.

    The government could force companies to make all our food healthier even ready meals and takeaway's however this would increase manufacturing costs and reduce profit which wouldn't please the shareholders. Look at all problems just getting a traffic light system printed on packaging because the manufacturers don't want you to know how bad their products really are. We are being poisoned for profit

  • rate this

    Comment number 1064.

    Oy! I'm pretty sure that's my ass.

  • rate this

    Comment number 1063.

    1042. ludwigvb
    1025. Your Uncle Bob. - 'Macyouknowwho: burger - 99p.'

    I was commenting on food. Don't think Macburgers qualify.


    Fair enough. Maybe someone should tell their customers though,. And ban them from sponsoring sport events

  • rate this

    Comment number 1062.

    If being thin and fit is cool, why do sports-persons miss so much time off of work?

  • rate this

    Comment number 1061.

    I work full time however,everyday I spend 30 45 min cooking from scratch instead of spending two hours in pub. Home cooking and small portions works well for me and my family.

  • rate this

    Comment number 1060.

    Being overweight is an issue but being obese and morbidly obese are really serious health issues if your BMI is over 30 you have serious health issues that will cost you and everyone else a fortune. If you want decent food in the shops at reasonable prices don't vote for some **** who thinks we can just leave it to the food industry to sort out.


Page 3 of 56


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