Obesity is increasing among adults, and those with normal weight are now in a minority. The development is causing problems, according to the health authorities.
An updated report from the Norwegian Institute of Public Health, published on Wednesday, stated that one in four adults are clinically obese.
‘Being overweight, and especially obesity, are risk factors for heart attacks, type 2 diabetes, and some forms of cancer. Obesity also increases the risk of hip and knee over wear and tear. Many obese people are also stigmatised’, said senior doctor, Haakon E. Meyer, at the National Institute of Public Health.
More heavy men
There are slightly more men than women who are carrying too much fat, 25%, against 21% of women. But when you look at this group, there are a higher percentage of women who struggle with obesity. That is, obesity defined as grade two or three, which means a body mass index of more than 35 or 40.
The health authorities are closely monitoring developments. Meyer pointed out that the charts are composed in terms of public health challenges.
‘The frequency of cardiovascular disease has decreased even though the average weight has risen. One reason may be that we have had a favourable developments regarding fat quality in the diet, a decrease in blood pressure, and fewer people who smoke. We must remember that obesity is one of several risk factors for disease’, he said.
Young people also struggle with weight
The figures show that overweight has also increased for young adults over recent decades. The Tromsø survey from 2012-13 showed that 21% of young women and 28% of young men aged between 18 and 20 were in the category of being overweight or obese. Similar developments have been seen in many other countries.
‘Overall, it is likely that we live in an obesity-promoting society, that facilitates a calorie intake that is higher than we require. It’s easy to eat too much and to move too little’, said Meyer.
Weight gain among children has flattened out
The health authorities have previously cited a warning about weight gain among children, but this increase has now stopped.
Over the past decade, the overall percentage of schoolchildren who are overweight or obese has changed a little, according to the report. Approximately every sixth child weighs too much.
‘It is pleasing that the percentage of overweight and obese children has stabilised and is no longer increasing,’ said Meyer.
© NTB Scanpix / Norway Today