PARIS — Nearly all Irish adults are likely to be overweight in 15 years' time, said a study on Wednesday that warned of a European "obesity crisis of enormous proportions".
On current trends, some 89 per cent of Irish men will be overweight by 2030, and nearly half obese, said a World Health Organisation study to be presented at a European Congress on Obesity in Prague.
This was up from 74 per cent overweight, and 26 per cent obese in 2010 in one of Europe's fattest nations.
Of Irish women, 85 per cent are likely to be overweight and 57 per cent obese by 2030, said the study, also well up on the 2010 figures.
The growing numbers of overweight and obese people are a growing cause of disease and disability around the world.
"Even in countries with a traditionally lower prevalence of obesity such as Sweden, obesity rates are predicted to rise sharply," the congress report said.
Over a quarter of Swedish men will be obese by 2030, and 22 per cent of women.
People with a BMI (body weight index, a ratio of weight to height) of 25 and higher are classified overweight, and 30 and over obese.
In the UK, "one third (33 per cent) of women are forecast to be obese in 2030, compared with over one quarter (26 per cent) in 2010," the congress press statement said.
Sixty-four per cent of UK women and 74 per cent of men will be overweight in 2030.
"Overall, the data show no evidence of a plateau in adult obesity in most countries," said the statement.
Other countries with projected steep rises in obesity over this period include Greece, Spain, Austria and the Czech Republic, according to the study of 53 countries.
An estimated 77 per cent of Greek men are predicted to be overweight by 2030 and 67 per cent of women, and the proportion of obese men and women will more than double from 20 per cent to about 40 per cent.
For Spain, obesity in women is set to rise from 16 per cent in 2010 to 21 per cent in 2030, and in men from 19 per cent to 36 per cent, said the statement issued by congress organisers.
About 37 per cent of women in the Czech Republic, hosting the gathering, will be obese by 2030 and 36 per cent of men.
The Dutch are the thinnest of the lot, according to the study.
About 49 per cent of men will be overweight and eight per cent obese by 2030, compared to 54 per cent and 10 per cent in 2010. For women, overweight rates will remain stable at around 43/44 per cent, while obesity is likely to drop from 13 per cent to nine per cent.
A study last November by the McKinsey Global Institute said more than 2.1 billion people globally – nearly 30 per cent of the world population – are now overweight or obese.
Obesity was causing about five per cent of all deaths worldwide, it said, and costing the global economy US$2 trillion in healthcare and lost productivity – or 2.8 per cent of global GDP. — AFP