Thursday, 17 February 2011

Fat or thin?

When I saw news about "Renewed Commitment of Stakeholders to Combat Overweight and Obesity-Related Health Issues" I immediately thought about my 1,5 years old son who is extremely active and - I hope therefore - extremely thin. As a loving mummy I am permanently worried: is he "fat" enough? But is it a real problem? Looking at the data below, I am not longer worried about the weight of my son.

According to the EC/OECD Report "Health at a Glance" published last December, the rate of obesity has more than doubled in the past 20 years in most EU Member States. On average, an estimated 15% of the EU adult population is obese.

Currently, 1 in 7 children in the EU are overweight or obese - and it is likely that the figures will rise even further. This is worrying, as children who are obese or overweight are more likely to suffer from poor health later in life, with greater risk of developing heart disease, diabetes, some forms of cancer, arthritis, asthma, a reduced quality of life and even premature death.

This week, European-level umbrella organisations, ranging from the food industry, health organisations and other civil society NGOs, who are members of the European Commission's Platform for Action on Diet, Physical Activity and Health agreed to step up action to tackle the growing problem of overweight and obesity related health problems. Priorities focus on children and how to make healthy choices available whilst also encouraging physical activity and sports.

No doubt that as consumers we all should take better care and double check what we buy to eat and how we live.

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