More than half of the European Union's adult population is overweight or obese, according to a report by the European Commission and the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development.


There has been a doubling of the number of obese people in most European countries in the last 20 years, international experts warn.


Britain comes out on top, followed by Ireland and Malta, where a quarter of the population is overweight.


According to the report, the top 5 European countries to lead the ranking of obesity are the United Kingdom, where 24.5% of the adult population is affected by the problem, followed by Ireland - 23%, Malta - 23.3%, Iceland - 20.1% and Luxembourg - 20%. For Bulgaria the percentage is 11.5.


According to the EC report, the key to success is encouraging children to develop healthy habits .


Currently, one in seven children in the European Union is overweight or obese. Experts expect a further increase in their number.


Only one in five children in the EU exercises regularly. Physical activity tends to fall between the ages of 11 and 15 in most Member States.


Children who are obese or overweight are more at risk for health problems at a later age. The risk of developing cardiovascular disease, diabetes, cancer, arthritis, asthma increases. Obesity reduces the quality of life and can even lead to premature death.


"To halt the growing trend of obesity and other health problems affecting the European population, we need reliable and up-to-date data, as well as public support for our efforts in this regard," said John Dalli, European Commissioner for Health and Welfare. consumer protection. That's why the health report is such an important contribution and could be a useful source of information in the coming months, even a year, he said.


At the same time, nutritionists warn that many Africans do not eat enough fruits and vegetables, which puts their health at risk and favors obesity, diabetes and cardiovascular disease. Studies show that more than a third of African women and a quarter of African men are overweight.