Cyprus has a lower share of overweight people than the EU average which suggests more than half adult Europeans were considered overweight in 2019, a recent report by Eurostat showed.
A total of 47.7 per cent of the adult population in Cyprus had a normal body mass index (BMI), while 48.5 per cent were overweight in 2019, Eurostat said. 33.8 per cent were pre-obese, and 14.6 per cent were obese.
Another 3.9 per cent were considered underweight.
In the EU, the average percentage of obese people was at 16 per cent, pre-obese at 35.2 per cent, overweight at 51.3 per cent, and 2.9 per cent were underweight. Some 45.8 per cent were considered to have a normal weight.
The report also showed that more men are overweight than women in all EU member states.
Cyprus holds the third largest gap between the sexes, with 59 per cent of men being considered overweight in contrast with 41 per cent of women. First comes Luxembourg with 59 per cent men and 38 per cent of women, and Czechia with 70 per cent of men were considered overweight and almost 20 per cent less women, standing at 51 per cent.
The highest percentage of overweight adults were in Croatia and Malta where just about 34 per cent of the population have normal body mass.
Specifically, Croatia had 63.8 per cent of overweight adults while Malta had 63.9 per cent of overweight people.
In contrast, Italy, France and Luxembourg were at the other end of the scale with the overweight population percentage at 44.7, 45.4 and 47.1 respectively.
According to Eurostat, the share of overweight people was higher in older age groups, with the exception of those aged 75 or over.
The lowest share was recorded among those aged 18 to 24 (25 per cent), while those aged 65 to 74 had the highest share (66 per cent). This relation was similar for the obesity rate, which was at 6 per cent for adults up to 24 years of age and 22 per cent in those aged 65 to 74.
The report also showed the proportion of overweight people falls as the educational level rises.
The percentage of overweight adults among those with low education level stood at 59 per cent in 2019, it was 54 per cent for those with a medium education level and 44 per cent for adults with a high education level.
The obesity rate also decreases with the education level: from 20 per cent of adults with low and 17 per cent with medium to 11 per cent of adults with high education level, Eurostat said.
This information comes from the first results of the European Health Interview Survey (EHIS; third wave). The EHIS measures the health status, health determinants and use of health care services of EU citizens.
The report assessed data from 27 country-members.
Regarding the average BMI among children, recent data from the WHO Childhood Obesity Surveillance Initiative (COSI) show that Cyprus was among the countries where approximately 1 in 5 boys (ranging from 18 per cent to 21 per cent) are obese. The data examined the period between 2015 and 2017.