More than a third of eight-year-olds in Croatia are overweight

NEWS 04.03.2021 16:50
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Source: FRANCOIS GUILLOT / AFP

As many as 35 percent of eight-year-olds in Croatia are overweight, showed a survey by the CroCOSI European Childhood Obesity Surveillance Initiative, which was presented on Thursday on the occasion of World Obesity Day by First Lady Sanja Music-Milanovic, who headed the survey.

Music-Milanovic described obesity as one of the biggest public health problems of the 21st century and the common denominator for all leading chronic non-infectious diseases.

“If in the next 30 years we do not reduce the trend of increasing obesity, the average life expectancy will be shorter by three and a half years,” she warned, presenting the results of the second round of the survey conducted in 2019.

According to the survey, 33. percent of eight-year-old girls and 37 percent of boys are overweight.

In the past three years there has not been a significant increase in child obesity in Croatia, as the results for the first round of the survey (2015/2016) indicated that 34.9 percent of eight-year-olds were overweight while three years later that percentage was 35 percent.

The survey also showed that about 57.4 percent of adults in Croatia have a problem with weight, which is a risk factor for a series of chronic non-infectious diseases.

Musić Milanović underscored that as much as 6.6 percent of the state budget earmarked for health is spent on diseases caused by obesity.

In Croatia, 67.6 percent of men are overweight, which makes them the “absolute champions in Europe,” she said.

Northerners are the slimmest people, while southerners are the most overweight, notably boys in Mediterranean countries, she added.

The presentation was attended by Health Minister Vili Beros and Education Minister Radovan Fuchs. Beros said that an action plan was being prepared to tackle the problem of obesity while Fuchs said that an initiative had been launched recently to increase Physical Education classes in schools.

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