WHO Forecasts Obesity Epidemic in Prague

The World Health Organization gives grave predictions at an obesity summit in Prague

Dave Park

Written by Dave Park Published on 06.05.2015 16:22:05 (updated on 06.05.2015) Reading time: 2 minutes

From May 6-9, 2015, world health professionals are meeting at the 2015 European Congress on Obesity in Prague to discuss the state of obesity in Europe. The convention is hosted at the Prague Congress Center by the Czech Society for the Study of Obesity and the European Association for the Study of Obesity.

According to a WHO press release published in advance of the conference, the projected forecast in Europe is not good: obesity levels are expected to rise throughout most EU countries through 2030.

Ireland has the gravest projection: by 2030, the report predicts that 89% of men and 85% of women will be classified as overweight, with 48% of men and 57% of women classed as obese. 

In the Czech Republic, levels are also projected to rise. The number of overweight women in the Czech Republic is estimated to grow 10% from 2010 to 64% in 2030. In 2010, 69% of Czech men were considered overweight; this number is expected to grow to 79% in 2030.

Obesity levels in the Czech Republic are already among the highest in Europe, and they’re also expected to grow. 37% of Czech women are predicted to be obese in 2030 (up from 23% in 2010) along with 36% of Czech men (up from 22%). 

The Netherlands is the lone European country where a downward trend is predicted: fewer than half of Dutch men are expected to be overweight by 2030, with 8% classed as obese. 

The classifications of ‘overweight’ and ‘obese’ are defined by Body Mass Index (BMI), which measures weight compared to height. A BMI between 25 and 30 is considered overweight, while 30+ is considered obese.

WHO Forecasts Obesity Epidemic in Prague

While full reports from this year’s obesity congress have yet to be released, 2013 numbers from the United Nation’s Food and Agricultural Organization (FAO) pegged the Czech Republic as the most obese country in Europe

If the trend continues to grow, the country could soon become the fattest nation among all developed countries. The 2013 FAO report ranked the Czech Republic at #12 in world obesity at 28.7%, with Mexico and the USA leading the pack at 32.8% and 31.8%, respectively. 

But preliminary 2015 reports currently place the percentage of obese Czechs at 32.6%, or .2% behind Mexico in 2013. That begs the question: will the Czech Republic soon be known as the fattest country in the world?

More detailed reports about the state of obesity in Europe and the Czech Republic are expected to be released as the Prague congress continues through this weekend.


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