EUROPE: Who Are The Top 5 Most Obese Nations There (Now The UK Is Leaving)?
Wednesday, July 6, 2016
EUROPE: Who Are The Top 5 Most Obese Nations There (Now That The UK Is Leaving)?
By Chris Jarratt of Bariquins (July 2016)
Okay, first of all, let me put the facts straight. I know that we are still part of the continent of Europe, it’s the European Union that we’ve voted to leave. And also, we haven’t started to leave the EU yet, that’s after Article 50…..blahdy, blahdy, blah. (I think there’s enough that’s been written about that already, so I’ll leave that subject there.)
Having covered the rates of obesity around the UK nations last month (or what is the UK at the time of writing this), I thought that this month, I’d have a look at our near neighbours that comprise of the 53 European members of the World Health Organisation -the WHO count the UK as one member- from Albania to Uzbekistan.
So here are the top 5 most obese countries in Europe, not including the UK, presented (as these things usually are) in reverse order. The stats are based on obesity only. They are taken from the graphs on the ‘WHO Global Database on BMI’ via the European Association for the Study of Obesity (See here ).
Malta, the small island situated at the extreme Southern edge of Europe in the Med takes its place as the fifth most obese country in this Euro league. Not a good advert for the Mediterranean Diet. Here, the general population of less than half a million, has an obesity rate of 20.7%.
Fourth spot goes to Boznia and Herzegovina. One country. Two names. Formed out of the break-up of Yugoslavia in 1992, B&H is situated on the coast of the Adriatic Sea, the north-eastern part of the Mediterranean. Their obesity rate is measured a full percentage point above Malta’s at 21.7%. This is from a total population of just above three and a half million.
The next placing goes to a neighbour of Boznia and Herzegovina and that’s Croatia. Croatia pretty much surrounds those in fourth place, lying to the north, west and south of B&H and shares some of the Adriatic coast too. The obesity rate of the Croatian people is 22.3% as a whole, in that country where the population is a tad over four and a quarter million people.
This is where the United Kingdom -with our rate of obesity of 22.7%- would have been if they had been included in this league, knocking the previous countries and this number two down one spot each. However, second place for this purpose, is Greece. Again, forming part of the Adriatic coast but this time, across the sea from the above two nations. Perhaps linked more to the healthy Mediterranean diet than the rest of the top 5, things haven’t gone too well for the Greeks in recent years. There, the state of the economy has taken its toll on a lot in their daily lives, including their eating habits. That’s pushed the Greek obesity rate up to 22.5%. That’s from a total Greek population of a little under eleven million.
And the winner is (if that is the right term)………
The former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia.
TfYRoM is geographically in the same proximity as numbers two to four of this group. It’s north of Greece with whom it’s in dispute over the name ‘Macedonia’; so it has been accepted by the United Nations as ‘The former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia’ when they became a member in 1993 after gaining independence in 1991. TfYRoM top the league with a general obesity rate of 25.1% from a population that is just a little over two million people.
So there we have our brief overview of European obesity. There may be a crumb of comfort that the UK is not the most obese place in Europe, albeit we are second. That said, different organisations produce alternative data using various other means of collecting it and do put the UK top of the Euro league. Either way, we are there or thereabouts, as are the other countries listed above.
Also to be noted, the WHO give a caveat, saying ‘The national BMI data (displayed in this graphs) are empirical and have been verified that they apply internationally recommended BMI cut-off points. However, it is important to note that the data presented are not directly comparable since they vary in terms of sampling procedures, age ranges and the year(s) of data collection’. Statistics based on obese and overweight populations give a different top 5. General facts about each country have been taken from Wikipedia.
Tags: health service, health, Bariquins, bariatric, Barry, Europe, United Kingdom, UK, Croatia, Malta, Bosnia and Herzegovinia, Macedonia, Greece, obese, obesity, plus-size, fat