In advance of European Obesity Day (Saturday 21 May), the International Diabetes Federation (IDF) is highlighting the fact that we as a European community have never been so heavy.
These statistics from Europe are sobering;
- Over 50% of the adult European population is overweight and almost half are obese
- Two thirds of adolescents are insufficiently active, leading to overweight or obesity in up to 27% of 13-year-olds and a shocking 33% of 11-year-olds. Over 60% of these children will remain overweight in early adulthood.
Europe is home to 60 million European people with diabetes of which 54m live life daily with Type 2 Diabetes
- 32 million more are at high risk of developing the condition
Note: Type 1 Diabetes is an Auto-Immune condition not triggered by excess weight
Knowing that overweight and obesity account for 65% to 80% of the increase in the prevalence of Type 2 diabetes, is a great cause for concern.
Tackling obesity will help tackle type 2 diabetes.
Despite repeated warnings and recommendations from National and International organisations, the number of overweight and obese people developing type 2 diabetes is still on the rise.
Our eating habits and the products we consume continue to change from home-cooked meals to ready-made processed food, where the content of e.g. salt, sugar and trans-fats is too high for good health, and we have moved from plain drinking water to sweetened beverages, which can regrettably be the most affordable option. This situation affects children, too: in some European countries, nearly 25% of their total daily energy intake comes directly from sugar.
We have never been so sweet-toothed.
What can we do to reduce our Obesity and Overweight problem?
Research studies done over the past decades have demonstrated that modest lifestyle changes such as 5% reduction in body weight and 150 minutes of moderate physical activity per week (30 min/day) lowered the risk of Type 2 diabetes by 58%.
Type 2 Diabetes can be prevented or delayed!
As individuals, what are we doing about it?
Is it fair to say that most of us will probably only act on making lifestyle changes when it’s too late and we have developed Type 2 diabetes or other health issues.
We need to act today. Taking simple steps such as;
- reducing our sugar intake
- making smarter healthier food and drink purchases
- walking or cycling more
will help protect our children and ourselves.
Take our ‘Are you at Risk’ health check questionnaire now
Read about how to Become Sugar Smart
On European Obesity Day, the International Diabetes Federation European Region (IDF Europe) joins the European Association for the Study of Obesity (EASO) to call for us all to take action for a healthier Europe.