Obesity Conquers Moscow, Threatens to Beat USA and Mexico

Over 38% of Muscovites are overweight, which is twice as many as 12 years ago, Leonid Lobaznik, chief physician of the Moscow healthcare department told RIA Novosti.

In his words, in 2008 17.3% Muscovites were obese, while today the number is 38.2%. "The reason is fast food and sedentary lifestyle, “the expert explained.

Nutritionists are alarmed. If obesity continues conquering Moscow at this pace, the Russian capital will outrun the USA and Mexico where 30% of adults and 43% of children suffer from obesity.

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Globalization of nutrition is one of the main reasons of the growing disease. Muscovites choose transnational hamburgers over their traditional cuisine. Developing supermarkets brought more frozen foods, meats, canned foods and sweets.

Foreign foods had long stopped being exotic, and local nutritional traditions get eliminated. Sushi and pizza became a regular food choice for Moscow clerks. Soups are disappearing even from kids’ menu, which alarms Russian medics.

Another reason of obesity growth is declining incomes. The financial crisis has reduced the number of slim citizens. Medics explain that it is not the amount of food, but its low quality that make people overweight.

Breads, potatoes and grains are the foods that make people gain weight. In the late 1980s and especially in the early 1990s many gained weight despite of lowered income. First of all it is true for retirees and students, the most vulnerable categories.

Experts mention that it is much more expensive to lose weight in Moscow than gain it. The initial nutritionist’s consultation is $100. Another $200 is required to develop an individual nutrition plan, and then another $100 dollars is needed per a weekly control visit.

During the crisis many people started ignoring their diets. Muscovites were quitting their healthy life styles. “Diet in the times of crisis is a luxury,” psychologists say.

Yet, there are those who take advantage of mass obesity. Multiple businesses serving obese people flourish in Moscow. Some entrepreneurs sell plus size clothes; others create various informational portals for big people or open modeling schools for plus size models.

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Author`s name Dmitry Sudakov