Bulgaria Throws Full Weight behind Obesity Combat

Society | November 14, 2006, Tuesday // 00:00| Views: | Comments: 0
Bulgaria: Bulgaria Throws Full Weight behind Obesity Combat Lack of healthy eating habits has fuelled Bulgaria's obesity epidemic, experts say. Photo by Yuliana Nikolova (Sofia Photo Agency)

Bulgaria will join the European Charter on Counteracting Obesity, due to be adopted at the World Health Organization (WHO) European Ministerial Conference.

The forum will take place in Istanbul, November 15-17.

Experts have repeatedly alarmed that low living standards and poor eating habits are fuelling Bulgaria's obesity epidemic.

Every fifth Bulgarian child suffers from overweight and about a half of kids already have this problem at the age of 18. Nearly 20% of young women, under the age of 30, are plagued with underweight, which is also a serious health problem.

The US youth top the world in terms of obesity, data shows but when compared with European states Bulgaria is still in unfavorable position.

The high consumption of fat-rich foods and the scarce take-in of fresh fruit and vegetables are outlined as the main reasons for the dramatic health situation in Bulgaria.

Too much salt, sugar and red meat is on the table of the average Bulgarian, health experts say and recommend more fish and dairy products, salads and fruit.

WHO singles out obesity is one of the greatest public health challenges of the 21st century. Its prevalence has tripled in many countries in the WHO European Region since the 1980s, and the numbers of those affected continue to rise at an alarming rate, particularly among children. Obesity is already responsible for 2-8% of health costs and 10-13% of deaths in different parts of the Region.

WHO has urged both societies and governments to act to curb the epidemic.

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