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Cyprus has one of highest obesity rates in Europe

Cyprus has one of the highest obesity rates in Europe and nearly half of Cypriot men are overweight, the Association of Dietitians and Nutritionists of Cyprus said on Thursday on the occasion of World Obesity Day, marked annually on March 4.

According to the association, 27.8 per cent of the population is obese, 28.8 per cent of men and 26.9 per cent of women, while 36 per cent is overweight, 46.9 per cent of men and 26 per cent of women.

“The International Health Organisation’s European Initiative for the Monitoring of Childhood Obesity (2018) conducted in 40 countries showed that the highest rates of obesity were in Cyprus, Italy, Spain, Greece, Malta and San Marino where 18-21 per cent of boys and 9-19 per cent of girls are obese,” the statement said.

‘Every body needs everybody’ is the message of this year’s World Obesity Day.

“A message that reflects the fact that we are all potentially in danger, but at the same time we are all accountable for taking individual and collective action, especially during the Covid-19 pandemic,” the association commented.

Without proper action to prevent and treat obesity, the annual medical cost of treating the effects of obesity will reach $ 1 trillion worldwide by 2025, the World Health Organisation warned.

In addition, people with obesity are twice as likely to be hospitalised if they get Covid-19 and one in two patients treated for Covid-19 is obese.

“The data so far do not indicate that people who are overweight are more likely to develop Covid-19. But global data show that people who are overweight or obese have an increased risk of serious illness and death when they get Covid-19.”

There is also evidence that especially younger people and even adolescents have an increased risk of serious illness as the degree of obesity increases.

“There is evidence to suggest that certain sections of the population have increased their physical activity during the lockdown. However, in the general population, exercise levels have not improved since the onset of the pandemic and junk food and alcohol consumption have increased.”

According to the announcement of the association “we need to improve the provision of obesity services and ensure access to them for every person who needs them.”

The World Obesity Federation and the World Health Organisation stressed there are three areas for governments, health care providers, national health systems and insurance funds to act directly on obesity: Appropriate health services to treat obese people, timely intervention for better results of treatments and prevention to reduce the need for treatment.

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