Over 10 million people are obese in Turkey: Report

Over 10 million people are obese in Turkey: Report

Over 10 million people are obese in Turkey: Report

More than 10 million people in the 15-64 age group are obese in Turkey, according to a report penned by food engineer Dr. Bülent Şık.

The report used data garnered in 2016 and builds on findings from a number of previous reports. It was released by the Social Rights Foundation (SHD) on Oct. 16, World Food Day Oct. 16.

The 10.6 million people referred to by Şık amounts to 19.5 percent of the 15-64 age group, which stood at 54.3 million people in 2016.

Obesity can lead to many illness. One of the most important illnesses that obesity leads to is Type II diabetes. Parallel to the number of people with obesity problems in our country, the number of diabetes patients has been increasing gradually,” Şık said on the release of the report.

“In terms of the number of illnesses it leads to, obesity can actually be said to be the number one public health problem in our country ... The most important point of this problem is the fact that the age where we detect diabetes is steadily decreasing in our country. Obesity is increasingly being observed among children,” he added.

Şık also provided figures for children, stating that obesity is present in approximately 660,000 of the 7.8 million in the 0-5 age group and 1.3 million of the 15.5 million in the 6-18 age group. An additional 3.5 million children aged 0-18 are overweight and obesity-prone, according to the report.

Additional figures show that 8.5 percent of children aged 0-5 are “obese” (10.1 percent for boys, 6.8 percent for girls), and 17.9 percent are “slightly overweight” (17.8 percent for boys, 18 percent for girls). For this age group, rural areas (where 9.8 percent are obese) performed worse than urban areas (where 7.8 percent are obese).

Regional analysis showed that the Central Anatolia region (14.5 percent) was the worst affected, followed by the Eastern Black Sea region (13.9 percent), the Western Anatolia region (12.8 percent) region, and the Central-Eastern Anatolia region (12.7 percent).

In the 6-18 age group, 8.2 percent were considered “obese/overweight” and 14.3 percent were considered “slightly overweight,” according to Şık’s report.

In the same age group, some 15.7 percent of urban dwellers were said to be “slightly overweight,” with this figure dropping to 10.8 percent for rural areas. Regional analysis placed the Aegean region as worst (12.5 percent), followed by the Eastern Thrace and West Anatolia region (11.4 percent), and the Istanbul (10.8 percent) region. The lowest rates in this category were the Eastern Black Sea region (3.6 percent) and the Northeast Anatolia region (4.1 percent).