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Number of fat Swedes expanding: study

Rebecca Martin · 24 Nov 2011, 10:16

Published: 24 Nov 2011 10:16 GMT+01:00

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Obesity is a growing problem in Sweden as in many other countries, with the number of obese people rising from 6 percent to 11 percent over the last two decades, a development which is mirrored in many OECD countries, according to a new report from the organization.

Recent figures show that Sweden is one of the OECD countries with the lowest share of obese people at 11 percent of the population, whereas the US has the largest share with 34 percent.

Japan has one of the lowest shares of obese people with 4 percent.

However, the report also shows that in Sweden, women with low-levels of education are more than twice as likely as more educated women to be over weight.

For men, the gap is less obvious but is still more pronounced than in most OECD countries, according to the report.

The OECD warned that obesity is a major health issue and overweight people are at risk to be struck by serious diseases due to their weight.

Severely obese people die on average ten years prior to those of normal weight, the report shows.

Almost half of the OECD countries are overweight, according to the new figures, and poor people are more likely to be overweight than the more well off part of a population.

Many countries are trying to combat overweight and obesity by raising taxes on fat or sugar, for example Denmark, Finland, France and Hungary.

According to the OECD report, health campaigns, state regulation and more support from physicians could prevent hundreds of thousands of deaths every year.

Obesity among children is another problem, and Greece tops the list there, followed by the US and Italy.

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According to the report, 37 percent of Greek girls and 45 percent of Greek boys are either overweight or obese.

In Sweden the share of obese children is the largest in Scandinavia, with 19.5 percent of girls and 17 percent of boys overweight, compared to Denmark's 15.2 and 14.1 percent and Norway's 14.7 and 12.0 percent.

In China, child obesity is at the lowest, with only 4.5 percent of the girls and 5.9 percent of the boys overweight or obese, according to OECD statistics.

Rebecca Martin (rebecca.martin@thelocal.se)

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Your comments about this article

14:08 November 24, 2011 by HenryPollard
Wouldn't shock me if this increase could be directly correlated with the expansion of McDonalds in Sverige.

The country now has the world's highest number of McDonalds franchises per head of population.... IKEA better start widening its beds.
15:47 November 24, 2011 by jmclewis
The USA is the leader in Fat People Technology we have mastered it. We have removed most normal exercise like walking from the culture and replaced it with sugary beverage and fast food restaurants every kilometer. Give up Sweden you will not win this contest. We are the fattest in the world......
16:51 November 24, 2011 by hunnysnowbee
OMG I LOVE the headline! Number of fat Swedes "Expanding"! Yup, you certainly do expand when the weight piles on. :-p
17:08 November 24, 2011 by Kevtravels
So the USA has 3 times the number of obsese people as Sweden, percentage wise, anyway. Interesting. Isn't Germany or the UK like right behind the USA with like 25 percent or so?
21:04 November 24, 2011 by Smiling Canuk
A report came out last week that Mexico is now the world leader in childhood obesity. The USA is leading the world and the UK is leading Europe. My country Canada has nothing to brag about either. We're behind the USA and UK but seem to be gaining (forgive the pun).
23:59 January 24, 2012 by willowsdad
Of course it's expanding; if it's not, there's no "epidemic" to frighten the ignorant with and all these bogus health experts will be out of a job.
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