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Is Finland Spared From Obesity Epidemic?

Posted Aug 25 2008 2:17pm
The number of people with overweight and obesity has been increasing at a horrible rate. For example, two-thirds of people in the United States are overweight. Even in Finland, every 1 in 5 adults is considered overweight.

As we know, when one is overweight or obese, he or she is subject to a much higher rate of developing heart disease, diabetes, high blood pressure, cancer, and many other complications. Therefore, obesity epidemic will definitely put tremendous pressure on the governments in terms of medical cost to deal with diseases associated with overweight or obesity.

A recent study found that women in Finland weigh on average almost 1 kilo (approximately 2.2 pounds) more than in 2002 yet obesity remains primarily a problem for male. The researchers from Finland's National Public Health Institute reported on July 21, 2008 that people in Finland are getting fatter at a steady rate for decades and this is obvious among young adults.

The report showed that during the past 5 years, men in Finland have gained an average of 500 grams (1.1 pound), whereas women have gained 900 grams (1.98 pounds). Interestingly, the weight index is the lowest among those people in the most educated group. Data also showed that 1 in 2 Finnish women are of normal weight, as compared to only 1 in 3 men.

According to the researchers, the increasing rate of obesity may well be attributed to the fact that people in Finland eat better quality food in large quantity yet exercise less. Meanwhile, Finns also smoke less than they did 5 years ago.

In fact, the problem in high blood pressure had been decreasing since 1972, but the decline had come to a halt due to the change to rising alcohol consumption. Since 2005, alcohol abuse has been the leading cause of death among Finnish males aged between 15 and 64.
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