WHO report shows obesity rates in Turkey sharply rising
Turkey is now the most obese nation in Europe, as the country has an obesity rate of 32.1 percent, the World Health Organization (WHO) warned in a newly released report. Data on around 900 million people in 53 countries found Turkey rising up the obesity league tables.
The European average is 23.3 percent. Obesity is defined as a body mass index (BMI) score of more than 30, while a tally higher than 25 is classified as overweight.
Turkey was followed by Malta, the United Kingdom and Hungary, which have an obesity rate of respectively 28.9 percent, 27.8 percent and 26.4 percent. The country with the lowest rate was Tajikistan with 14.2 percent. The report based the figures on data from 2016 and surveyed only people aged above 18.
When compared with the data of previous years, the obesity rate showed a significant rise in Turkey, according to the WHO. This figure was 10.4 percent in 1980, 16.3 percent in 1990, 22.2 percent in 2000 and 28.2 percent in 2010.
“The prevalence of overweight and obesity among adults in the European Region is high and on the rise. In most countries in the Region, the prevalence of overweight was higher among men, while the prevalence of obesity was higher among women,” said the WHO report, which was launched in London on Sept. 12.
“In 2016, the rates for overweight and obesity were 63 percent and 21.9 percent among men and 54.3 percent and 24.5 percent among women. These rates were higher than the reported values in 2010: the rates for overweight and obesity were 59.7 percent and 18.8 percent among men and 52.1 percent and 22.5 percent among women,” the report further said.
Heavy episodic drinking
The report has also included data on alcohol consumption. Accordingly, Turkey had the lowest national rate for heavy episodic drinking with 0.2 percent, while Austria had the highest rate with 38.5 percent.
The heavy episodic drinking was defined as consumption of 60 grams of pure alcohol or around six standard alcoholic drinks on at least one occasion weekly. The WHO based the figures on data from 2010, having surveyed people aged 15 years or over.
“In 2010, the national rates of heavy episodic drinking among males were higher than those for females. The highest and lowest national rates among males were 54.5% [Czech Republic] and 0.3 percent [Turkey], respectively, in 2010. The highest and lowest national rates among females were 24.3% [Lithuania] and 0% [Turkey], respectively, in 2010,” the report further noted.