Half of Europeans overweight, obese

Dec. 7, 2010 at 6:39 PM
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BRUSSELS, Dec. 7 (UPI) -- More than half of Europeans are overweight or obese, a report by the European Commission and the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development says.

The report, "Health at a Glance: Europe 2010," says the rate of obesity has more than doubled during the past 20 years in most European Union member states and, on average, about 15 percent of the EU adult population is obese.

The prevalence of obesity varies among the 27 member EU countries -- from less than 10 percent in Romania and Italy to more than 20 percent in the United Kingdom, Ireland and Malta, the report says. The report finds one in seven children in the EU are overweight or obese.

The report also says:

-- EU life expectancy at birth increased from 72 years in 1980 to 78 years in 2007.

-- Heart attacks account for about 40 percent of all deaths in Europe in 2008 and are still the main cause of death in Europe.

-- In 2008, EU member states spent, on average, 8.3 percent of their gross domestic product on health, up from 7.3 percent in 1998, while the United States spent 15.3 percent of GDP on healthcare. Canada spent 10 percent of GDP on healthcare in 2006.

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