WHO Report Says the Majority of Europeans are too Fat

By Cheri Cheng - 23 Sep '15 17:51PM

The majority of people living in Europe are too fat, a new report from the World Health Organization concluded.

Based from the WHO's European Health Report, 59 percent of the people from the WHO Europe region, which includes some parts of Asia, are either overweight or obese. The proportion of overweight/obese people was between 45 percent and 67 percent.

The report also found that the smoking rate for the region, at 30 percent, was higher than any other WHO region. On top of the high smoking rate, the researchers reported that this region also had the highest levels of alcohol consumption. The average intake was 11 liters or 20 pints (40 cups) of pure alcohol per year.

"Europeans drink and smoke more than anyone else. We are world champions - and it's not a good record," said Claudia Stein, the WHO Europe's head of information, evidence, research and innovation.

The report stated that these high rates are "alarming" because they all contribute to higher risks of heart disease, cancer and other chronic health conditions.

For now, however, the life expectancy is increasing steadily within the region with the premature mortality rate decreasing.

"This report shows heartening progress," WHO regional director for Europe Dr. Zsuzsanna Jakab said. "But there is a very real risk that these gains will be lost if smoking and alcohol consumption continue at the current rate. This is especially relevant to young people, who may not live as long as their grandparents."

The report also looked into vaccination rates and found that the average measles immunization coverage has been increasing over the years. In 2015, there were four deaths linked to measles within the region.

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