Health

WHO says most people in Europe too fat

Obese person on scales Image copyright SPL

Most people in Europe are too fat, according to a report by the World Health Organization (WHO).

It said 59% of the population were either overweight or obese.

Its European Health Report also said the WHO Europe region, which includes parts of Asia, had the highest levels of alcohol and tobacco use in the world.

And as a result, WHO officials warned, young people in the region "may not live as long as their grandparents".

The report praised countries for cutting deaths from cancer, diabetes and cardiovascular diseases (which include heart attacks and stroke).

However, it also warned that 30% of the region still smoked - a higher figure than for any other region.

And an average alcohol consumption equivalent to 11 litres (20 pints) of pure alcohol a year was also a global high.

Meanwhile, the proportion of people either overweight or obese ranged from 45% to 67%.

The report said these figures were "alarmingly high".

WHO regional director for Europe Dr Zsuzsanna Jakab said: "This report shows heartening progress.

"But there is a very real risk that these gains will be lost if smoking and alcohol consumption continue at the current rate.

"This is especially relevant to young people, who may not live as long as their grandparents."