Obesity causes 1.2m premature deaths a year in Europe, says World Health Organization
Les Mills International
Les Mills International
Les Mills International
Leisure Opportunities
Job search
Job Search
see all jobs
Latest job opportunities
star job
Water Babies
£28,000 - £30,000pa
Hybrid working, Exeter
New Hall School
£34,091 - £40,202pa + excellent benefits
Chelmsford, Essex
Withington Baths
£22,500 - £23,500
Withington, Manchester
star job
Oxford City Council
£41,510 to £42,512 per annum - (pro rata for part time)
Oxford St Aldate's Chambers / Work from home (Hybrid)
star job
Sport Aberdeen
£40,000pa
Aberdeen

Obesity causes 1.2m premature deaths a year in Europe, says World Health Organization

Report from the World Health Organization found 60 per cent of adults in Europe are obese or overweight
Pandemic impacted physical activity levels and drove consumption of fatty, sugary foods
Evidence shows early adoption of physical activity and good nutrition is essential
WHO suggests interventions to cut obesity rate through physical activity, education and diet
Job opportunities
Withington Baths
£22,500 - £23,500
location: Withington, Manchester, United Kingdom
more jobs
In the WHO European Region, obesity poses an increasing challenge, with one in three school-aged children, one in four adolescents and almost 60 per cent of the adult population now living with overweight or obesity
Dr Hans Henri Kluge, WHO’s regional director for Europe
Credit: WHO / Pierre Albouy

According to The World Health Organization's recently-released research study, WHO European Regional obesity report 2022, a third of children and almost two-thirds of adults in Europe are obese.

The research found obesity causes 1.2m deaths each year across WHO's 53 member states in Europe.

Researchers recorded a drop in physical activity levels during the pandemic, along with an increased intake of fatty, sugary and salty foods, but, although obesity levels were amplified by the pandemic, their cause runs far deeper in society.

The report aims to highlight the behavioural changes needed to overcome the global obesity problem by identifying interventions such as physical activity, education and diet.

"Obesity poses an increasing challenge in Europe, with one in three school-aged children, one in four adolescents and almost 60 per cent of the adult population now living with being overweight or obese,” explained Dr Hans Henri Kluge, WHO’s regional director for Europe. “Raised body mass index (BMI) is a major risk factor for non-communicable diseases, including cancers and cardiovascular diseases.”

In response to general widespread criticism that BMI – which is based solely on someone’s height and weight – is misleading, it was acknowledged that “there are limitations to the use of BMI as the sole measure” for defining obesity. The report noted other measures that could be used in the future. These include waist circumference, waist-to-height ratio, body adiposity index (BAI) and body shape index (BSI).

The study took a close look at how our modern environment drives the obesity epidemic by examining the relationships between food and physical activity, and the socio-cultural, physical, economic, and political factors that influence the food populations eat, along with their level of activity. Online gaming and the digital marketing of unhealthy food products are highlighted as problem areas.

Obesity was linked to at least 13 types of cancer, including breast, liver and ovarian, and Dr Nina Berdzuli, director of the division of country health programmes at WHO Europe, emphasised the importance of encouraging healthy lifestyles and increasing physical activity levels.

According to the report’s findings, there is undeniable evidence that the early adoption of good nutrition and physical activity is essential to improving the future of global health.

Dr Francesco Branca, the director of the department of nutrition for health and development, believes the WHO's Sustainable Development Goal 2 ('Achieve Zero Hunger' and 'Improve Nutrition') and Sustainable Development Goal 3 ('Ensuring Healthy Lifestyles' and 'Promoting Wellbeing') will not be achieved if society continues on the same path.

For teenagers, data showed that fewer than 20 per cent follow physical activity recommendations and almost 50 per cent do not eat fruit or vegetables. The report recognised that no single “intervention” could reduce the spread of obesity, but outlined a range of interventions and potential policy areas that could reduce obesity levels through diet, education and physical activity targets.

Recommendations for physical activity include the provision of physical activity counselling and referral as part of healthcare services, safe access to open spaces and the promotion of physical activity through sports groups and clubs.

The quality of physical education, facilities and programmes in schools and the availability of physical activity schemes in the workplace were both highlighted.

“I'm hopeful we can change the trajectory of obesity in Europe by creating environments that are more enabling, promoting investment in health, developing strong and resilient health systems and innovating for better health and improved health governance,” concluded Kluge.

Sign up for FREE ezines, news alerts & magazines
Related news

World Health Organization steps up policymaking for physical activity sector

24 May 2021
The World Health Organization (WHO) has launched a webinar series to explore the future of ...

WHO: increasing exercise levels globally would prevent 5 million deaths and save US$68bn each year

08 Dec 2020
Increasing physical activity globally could prevent up to 5 million deaths each year, according to ...

More News

1 - 15 of 43,688
23 Jun 2022
A new report by Deloitte, outlining the social and economic value of the global health and fitness industry, has been released by The Global Health ... More
23 Jun 2022
Barry’s has entered the world of retail, opening a studio in the new Flannels flagship luxury department store in Liverpool, which debuts today (23 June ... More
23 Jun 2022
The London 2012 Olympic legacy investment designed to improve physical education at primary schools has failed, according to a study. Academics at the University of ... More
23 Jun 2022
A special task force has been established to boost physical activity opportunities for people with disabilities. Part of UK Active’s inclusivity-focused Everyone Can programme, the ... More
20 Jun 2022
F45 will be launching its first studio in a hotel in Q3 2022, following a partnership agreement with Hilton Austin. The 1,236 square foot/114 square ... More
20 Jun 2022
The Jorvik Group has been named a ‘leading light’ for its digital strategy, which helped it gain an international audience of more than 3 million ... More
ukactive
ukactive
16 Jun 2022
Premier Global NASM, which is owned by US-based Ascend Learning, has announced it's winding up its operations in the UK. It is not clear why ... More
16 Jun 2022
David Lloyd has introduced a small-group training programme called Delta to the range of classes it offers members. The sessions are designed for six to ... More
16 Jun 2022
Post-operative heart surgery patients could begin their road to fitness recovery much earlier than previously thought. Game-changing research shows that upper-body resistance training can commence ... More
15 Jun 2022
Mike Farrar has been announced as the new chair at UK Active. His tenure will start in August 2022 when he takes over the position ... More
15 Jun 2022
Key organisations from the UK’s leisure industry are lobbying the government for financial support to help operators manage the impact of rising energy prices. A ... More
15 Jun 2022
Oliver Lee OBE will be taking the position of CEO at Places Leisure from July. He will replace Paul McPartlan, who announced in April that ... More
Les Mills
Les Mills
14 Jun 2022
Chester Zoo, Nothe Fort and Black Country Living Museum are among the 19 winners of this year's Visit England Awards for Excellence. Picking up the ... More
01 Jun 2022
Bernard Donoghue, director of the Association of Leading Visitor Attractions (ALVA), has been awarded an OBE in the Queen's Birthday Honours. Donoghue has been Director ... More
09 Jun 2022
Basic-Fit has opened its 600th club in France in Sablé-sur-Sarthe, in the Pays de la Loire region. The fitness chain – which is also active ... More
1 - 15 of 43,688
Les Mills International
Les Mills International