British women officially the fattest in Europe
The figure is far worse than most other countries.
By comparison, 12.7 per cent of Frenchwomen are overweight, 14.4 per cent of Spaniards and just 9.3 per cent of Italians.
Experts from the European Commission, which compiled the figures for the year 2008/9, are concerned at the number of young British women who are obese.
Across most of Europe, very few 18- to 24-year-olds are obese but in Britain 16.6 per cent of young women are too fat.
The data comes from the European Health Interview Survey (EHIS) published by Eurostat, the EU’s statistical office- Overweight and Obesity BMI Statistics.
The statistics showed British men are not far behind, with 22.1 per cent being classed as overweight, coming second only to Malta.
They found the share of overweight and obese people increases with age in all of the 19 member states for which data was available.
The figures also show the proportion of women who are obese or overweight falls as the educational level rises.
The high levels of obesity in the UK are in stark contrast to those in countries such as Romania, where just 8 per cent of women were classed as obese along with 7.6 per cent of men.
Obesity is defined as having a Body Mass Index of over 30. BMI is calculated by dividing one’s weight in kilograms by the square of one’s height in metres.
Earlier this year, a report by the World Health Organisation found that British men were among the fattest in Europe and that, as a nation, we do less exercise than almost every other.
The study ranked British men as the third fattest in Europe, with 67.8 per cent of males aged 15 or older either overweight or obese – only Greece (77.5 per cent) and Malta (73.3 per cent) were fatter.
The report also found that Britain is the ninth least active nation in the world, with 63.3 per cent of adults taking less than 30 minutes of moderate exercise five times a week.
Cardiovascular disease is Britain’s number one killer, accounting for more than 191,000 deaths every year.
Tags: diabetics, exercise, Health, Heart Disease, obese, weight loss