Europe tries to exterminate obesity

The population of our planet grows speedily. Many scientists say that soon people will have big problems with fresh water and food. At the same time, people get fatter and fatter every year. The USA is no longer referred to as the fattest nation in the world. Russia and Europe put on weight very fast.

Indeed, obesity has become a serious problem for many developed countries of the world. It was generally believed seven or eight years ago that obesity was mainly a problem of the United States of America. However, the epidemic has now struck Europe and Russia. Approximately 60 percent of the Russian population suffer from obesity.

A recent research conducted by specialists of the European Commission revealed that British females and Maltese males suffer from obesity in Europe most. It turns out that nearly a quarter of British women (23.9%) have problems with excessive weight. Citizens of Malta and Latvia take the second and the third place on the list.

According to the World Health Organization, 25-70 percent of the adult population of Europe suffers from excessive weight and obesity. More than a third of Europeans lead sedentary lifestyle. As we mentioned above, Britain is the fattest country in Europe. The list continues with Ireland and Malta. The problem of obesity also touches upon Romania (7.9%), Switzerland (8.1%) and Italy (9.9%).

More than 1.3 billion people living on Earth suffer from excessive weight and/or obesity, UN experts said. This seems to be quite a paradox because every seventh human being in the world suffers from undernourishment. The diseases caused by obesity kill nearly 3 million people every year, which is comparable to the death rate caused by undernourishment.

The governments of many European countries realized that it would be much easier to simply make people eat healthy food. Danish lawmakers introduced a tax for the content of fats in butter and vegetable oil. The tax is calculated from the weight of fats in products and makes up 16 Danish crowns ($2.9) per one kilo of saturated fat.

The "fat tax" will raise the prices on hamburgers by 15 percent, whereas butter will become 40 cents more expensive.

Igor Orlov, a medical specialist from the Acupuncture Center, said in an interview with Pravda.Ru that measures like those taken by the authorities of Denmark would be good in Russia too. "We must realize that fatty food raise the risk of cardiovascular diseases and cause a whole bouquet of other problems. If we eat less fat food, we will live longer. Restricting the consumption of fat can do only good to the health of the nation. This can be incredibly beneficial," the expert said.

The French authorities taxed sodas at the end of 2011. The tax on refreshing fruit drinks was raised by 25 percent. The tax on sodas was raised by 35 percent.

Many news agencies reported in October 2011 that adding ketchup in the meals served at school cafeterias was forbidden in France. The measure was taken for the sake of healthy food propaganda. Ketchup and French fries can nowadays be served only once a week. The document also stipulated the increase of vegetable dishes on the menus.

Interestingly, a high level of economic development of the country does not make people's menus healthier. Quite on the contrary, food becomes fatter. In the past, excessive weight used to be a sign of financial security of people. Nowadays, healthy food and fitness centers are expensive and are not affordable to all. The majority of people prefer simple food - burgers, microwave stuff and pasta, in which they add anything that they can find in their fridge.

UN specialists believe that high taxes will save mankind from fat. According to them, introducing nine-percent taxes on harmful foodstuffs may reduce their consumption by 5-9 percent. However, what will common people have to eat when fast food becomes the food of the rich?

Ksenia Obraztsova


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Author`s name Dmitry Sudakov