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Gaining On the US: Most Europeans To Be Overweight By 2030

timothy posted about 4 months ago | from the look-to-your-left-look-to-your-right dept.

Stats 329

An anonymous reader writes "Welcome to the club, Euro friends. A World Health Organization analysis concludes that within 15 years a majority of Europeans will be obese or severely overweight. In almost all countries the proportion of overweight and obesity in males was projected to increase – to reach 75% in UK, 80% in Czech Republic, Spain and Poland, and 90% in Ireland, the highest level calculated. Women fare a little better. In reviewing the results, the lead researcher said: "Our study presents a worrying picture of rising obesity across Europe. Policies to reverse this trend are urgently needed.""

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329 comments

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Sugar (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#46965495)

I cannot think of a skinny person I work with who does not have a sugar-free diet. And I work in an industry where we work really really strange hours, over really really bad time-zone changes.

Re:Sugar (1, Interesting)

MrL0G1C (867445) | about 4 months ago | (#46965525)

Me, 2+ sugars in tea 4 times a day, biscuits, ice cream cake sweets.

I'm 5'11 and 142pounds / 64kg

It's not just sugar. I cycle. How many overweight people do you know that cycle regularly?

Re:Sugar (4, Funny)

marcello_dl (667940) | about 4 months ago | (#46965539)

> How many overweight people do you know that cycle regularly?

I only know logrotate, you insensitive clod.

Re:Sugar (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#46965775)

I'm such a person. Probably thats why im obese not morbidly obese (but I'm creeping up to it). I cycle to work every day i ride for fun maybe not large distances for fun but usualy no less than 30km and not more than 100km. I'm quite not that slow also but ... in hilly terrain my weight brings me down ... both figuratively and literaly ;] ). I sometimes eat large amouts of food almost no sweets and no soft drinks either. But I dont eat regularly i rarely eat breakfasts and i stay up lat (or cycle late at night) . And i cycle for pure joy it gives me .. not to loose weight and... i dont realy loose weight. My weight jumps up and down at times +-5KG in a year and slowely the average is rising. so yeah i regularly cycle. And yes i'm obese. I know few people as fat as me and sure most of the dont eat right and sit all day but there are also quite active people that cycle or hike (unimaginable distances) and still are quite fat ... it';s not as simple issue as you may think.

Re:Sugar (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#46965809)

Well said. I believe there is something like a thermostat set point for weight that the body is trying to maintain. I do not think that it is easy to change it either. I never counted a single calorie last year but maintained my exact weight to within a pound or two.

BMI is a lie! (1, Interesting)

sjwt (161428) | about 4 months ago | (#46965589)

If you cycle, then I suggest doing your BMI maths to find out how obse you are, BMI FUCKING SUCKS! Muscle is heavier than fat, bmi is your weight in relation to you high. therefore if you have a maximum about of muscle then you come in at Obse on this stupid fucking scale.
Fuck all fat on me, mostly skinny build, have some nice leg muscles, no real arm or back muscles, no fat gut, im 183cms and 95KGs..
Overweight to the point that if I put on more weight i'm Obese!

Re:BMI is a lie! (1)

Carewolf (581105) | about 4 months ago | (#46965661)

If you cycle, then I suggest doing your BMI maths to find out how obse you are,

If you are concerned with obesity BMI is good enough. It can falsely flag you as overweight, but if it marks you obese you have a serious problems. (Even if it mostly muscle your steroid abuse should have killed you by now.)

Re:BMI is a lie! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#46965667)

Muscle is heavier than fat

Incorrect. A kilo of muscle weighs the same as a kilo of feathers, but a pound of fat weighs the same as only 0.454 kilos of lead.

Re:BMI is a lie! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#46965741)

Incorrect. A kilo of muscle weighs the same as a kilo of feathers, but a pound of fat weighs the same as only 0.454 kilos of lead.

Wholly dependent on gravity. On the moon, a pound of fat weighs a different amount than 0.454 kilos of lead because pounds are weight and grams are mass.

Re:BMI is a lie! (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#46965873)

Incorrect. A kilo of muscle weighs the same as a kilo of feathers, but a pound of fat weighs the same as only 0.454 kilos of lead.

Wholly dependent on gravity. On the moon, a pound of fat weighs a different amount than 0.454 kilos of lead because pounds are weight and grams are mass.

Seriously? This conversation could have stayed rather grounded with the old pound of feathers vs. pound of lead argument, and you had to take it to the moon?

Damn you guys can get nerdy...

Oh no! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#46965733)

I guess it's too difficult to look in the mirror to determine if your BMI is too high because of being fat or muscular!

Re:BMI is a lie! (0)

flyingfsck (986395) | about 4 months ago | (#46965825)

Welcome to the muscular obese club. We are a minority though. So don't worry about it.

Re:BMI is a lie! (5, Insightful)

Kjella (173770) | about 4 months ago | (#46965851)

Bah, 99.9% of the people who complain that their BMI is high because of muscles don't have that much muscles. This [klikk.no] is Olaf Tufte, former olympic champion in rowing and overall tough guy, he's 193 cm and 95 kg for a BMI of 25.5. In other words, despite being almost pure muscle he's barely overweight by BMI standards. To be "obese" he'd have to add 17 kg worth of fat to that body. It's not a body for power lifting but he'll easily carry a 50kg backpack up a mountain side if you ask him, he's outrageously well trained. Even sustaining 10 kg worth of extra muscle is a lot of work and doesn't affect the BMI that much. Fat is a different story, you can easily be 20 or 40 kg overweight. I've been your weight (adjusting for height), it's by no means skinny and only normal if you compare yourself to other overweight people.

Re:BMI is a lie! (3, Informative)

teg (97890) | about 4 months ago | (#46965899)

If you cycle, then I suggest doing your BMI maths to find out how obse you are, BMI FUCKING SUCKS! Muscle is heavier than fat, bmi is your weight in relation to you high. therefore if you have a maximum about of muscle then you come in at Obse on this stupid fucking scale. Fuck all fat on me, mostly skinny build, have some nice leg muscles, no real arm or back muscles, no fat gut, im 183cms and 95KGs.. Overweight to the point that if I put on more weight i'm Obese!

BMI is not perfect. However, unless you are a weightlifter or outrageously fit (not just "skinny fit", but bulging muscles) it's a pretty good indicator. And it's pretty easy to know if you are in the extremely fit part - if you're thinking about it, you aren't.

Re:Sugar (5, Interesting)

gnupun (752725) | about 4 months ago | (#46965599)

You think they didn't have sugar, fatty foods and exercising decades ago? However, only a small percentage of people in the 70s and 80s were overweight. In today's age, if you aren't fat, there's still a chance your face seems swollen. Barring some health conscious people, actors, models and athletes, almost everyone seem swollen/fat somewhere. Therefore, I think the modern processed foods sold in stores and restaurants is the culprit. These foods might contain chemicals (perhaps some preservative) that fatten people as a side effect.

Re:Sugar (5, Insightful)

rogoshen1 (2922505) | about 4 months ago | (#46965737)

Yeah but in the 70's and 80's foods were not nearly as laden with sugar, and the portion sizes were different -- and people ate at home more often. It doesn't take a rocket surgeon to reason out that human beings do not need a 54 ounce soda. And the availability of drinks in such quantities coincide quite nicely with the rises in obesity.

I was born in 1982 -- growing up, 16 ounces was the standard size for a bottle of soda. then it was 20, and now it's moving on up to a liter. Prior to the early 80's soda sizes were even smaller.

I'm singling out soda because it kind of serves as a yardstick that other portion sizes can be compared to -- which, are out of control. Gigantic, out of control portion sizes at restaurants and fast food places that we frequent more than ever before.. serving a menu comprised mainly out of simple, refined, processed to hell carbohydrates. Oh and we're gulping down pure sugar by the gallon.

This shouldn't be a fucking mystery.

Re:Sugar (2)

Vermonter (2683811) | about 4 months ago | (#46965835)

Consuming sugar doesn't bother me. What does bother me is consuming all the preservatives in out food, and all the unnatural sweeteners that are included. Although I am not a scientist, I wonder if high fructose corn syrup, calorie free sweeteners, and to a lesser extend, regular corn syrup, are far worse for us than the FDA understands yet. Also, try going 2 weeks without any sugar except for naturally occurring sugars in fruits and the like... you'll get your actual sense of sweetness back. I can no longer drink sugary soda (I usually drink seltzer, and occasionally I drink coke watered down with seltzer to 1/5 the concentration). I can't eat milk chocolate or most candy. They all taste disgustingly sweet to me.

Re:Sugar (1)

buchner.johannes (1139593) | about 4 months ago | (#46965787)

You think they didn't have sugar, fatty foods and exercising decades ago?

They did, but now it is in every thing you eat. Because we love the taste of fat and sugar.

Instead of a special occasion of the day when you eat sugar, it is eaten routinely. That is what is new.

For instance, replacing a piece of bread with a thin layer of bread and jam in the morning with a muffin (so essentially eating cake for breakfast).
Drinks also have vast amounts of sugar in them. A typical Starbucks coffee contains tons of fat and sugar to make it tastier, whereas black coffee does not.

Animals are getting fatter too though. link [ritholtz.com] , link [aeon.co] paper [nih.gov]

Re:Sugar (1)

flyingfsck (986395) | about 4 months ago | (#46965841)

Got news for you. Of the bread and cake, the cake is probably better to eat and higher in protein, since you need gluten to keep the bubbly texture and cake also contains egg. Our bodies are so well attuned to processing wheat, that bread causes a faster sugar high than Coca Cola, because the Coke is sweetened with fructose.

Re:Sugar (1)

MrL0G1C (867445) | about 4 months ago | (#46965933)

"Our bodies are so well attuned to processing wheat, that bread causes a faster sugar high than Coca Cola"...

Does that apply to brown wheat or just white flour products?

Re:Sugar (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#46965799)

Everything has those chemicals ...
Worse, there are a lot of things that legally go undetected. For instance, there are some preservatives that go into the flour, some make it into the final product and have to be labeled as such, but others, "vanish" after baking, and no mention is made on the wrapping.
That's bread, only one product. God knows what other stunts they pull for everything else ...

Not the way we have carbs now (3, Informative)

dutchwhizzman (817898) | about 4 months ago | (#46965839)

The amount of sugar and other carbs in our current diet is way higher than it was. Also, we stopped using fat as our energy source since some studies suggested (falsely) that fat was the cause of cardiac diseases and obesity. Those studies have since been proven wrong and the new consensus is that our current high carbs intake is responsible for the enormous amount of obese people and diabetes type II patients.

A human can live healthy with 0 carbs intake for an entire year, providing they use fat to substitute for energy intake. A human will die within 6 months if they have 0 fat intake, regardless of what they use to substitute that.

The whole "omega fat" and cholesterol story is way more complicated and correlation and causation between fats, omega fats, cholesterol (various sorts of it) and cardiac disease is currently highly debated. Much research is finding that previous research is wrong and new things are being found every few months. Several papers that have been proven by independent re-trials seem to point out that the whole omega fat theory holds no statistical advantage and there are indications that it may actually be contra productive, but those results are too inconclusive.

We used to have natural fats, natural carbs and way less carbs in our diet 70 years ago, compared to now. High fructose corn syrup didn't exist yet the way it does now and breakfast wasn't sugar frosted. We didn't limit our fat intake "because it's bad for your heart and you'll get fat" the way we do now and yes, we did often exercise more than we do now. Our whole culture has moved to prepared food instead of home cooking and our taste buds made us buy the food with the "richer" taste. We don't look on the labels to see what's in it, we just want it to taste good and end our appetite. That lead to a totally different diet currently, which leads to obesity.

To make it more difficult, carbs and especially sugar are actually addictive and our modern stomach fauna will produce chemical substances to make our brain feel good if we eat carbs. We have to go through actual withdrawal symptoms if we don't have our trice daily fix of carbs (feeling faint and woozy) and we get a reward "after dinner dip" if we eat.

Re:Sugar (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#46965633)

Correlation does not prove causation. You don't see that many people with bellow-average intelligence taking math majors, but that doesn't mean math makes you significantly smarter.

Re:Sugar (1)

Hognoxious (631665) | about 4 months ago | (#46965679)

Correlation does not prove causation.

But it's a strong hint.

You don't see that many people with bellow[sic]-average intelligence taking math majors, but that doesn't mean math makes you significantly smarter.

Right. It couldn't possibly be that you have to be smarter to actually be admitted as a math major, could it? And even if it did, that wouldn't be causation, I suppose?

Re:Sugar (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#46965909)

Bellow average?

I'M AVERAGE AND I'M SHOUTING ABOUT IT!

Like that?

Filter error: Don't use so many caps. It's like YELLING.

I know! That's the joke you dumb website!

Re:Sugar (2)

flyneye (84093) | about 4 months ago | (#46965777)

240 lb. is the NEW thin...

Re:Sugar (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#46965863)

And how old would you be? I was like that in my 20s as well.

Re:Sugar (1)

Scott Ragen (3378093) | about 4 months ago | (#46965901)

Actually, I know two.

If you doubt my sincerity, one of the bicyclers helped campaign for bicycle tracks in our town, and advertise it to tourists.

Re:Sugar (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#46965551)

I cannot think of a skinny person I work with who does not have a sugar-free diet. And I work in an industry where we work really really strange hours, over really really bad time-zone changes.

It isn't that easy. I'm a skinny person that eat sugar products fairly frequently (I actually actively avoid the sugar free alternatives that use other sweeteners), and know many others like me.

There was a significant research report published recently that concluded that the main factor driving the obesity growth is the nutrition mix of processed food. It contains too little proteins and too much fat, carbs and crap (because it is cheaper), and your body/mind eats to much of it to get enough proteins. I believe the secondary factor in terms of contribution to obesity was reduction in physical activity.

For the lazy, a metric/imperial BMI calculator.. (2)

sjwt (161428) | about 4 months ago | (#46965591)

http://www.heartfoundation.org... [heartfoundation.org.au]

Re:For the lazy, a metric/imperial BMI calculator. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#46965813)

BMI is a flawed method. It doesn't take individual build into consideration, but only assumes a certain "generic" mass of muscle etc., which is why it always fails for slender people and for muscular people. Avoid the concept of BMI.

Re:Sugar (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#46965577)

I cannot think of a skinny person I work with who does not have a sugar-free diet. And I work in an industry where we work really really strange hours, over really really bad time-zone changes.

People have been eating sugar for a long time, something else has changed to cause so much obesity. Crap ready made food in increasing portion sizes, non-sugar sweeteners (including high fructose corn syrup) and lack of exercise.

Re:Sugar (4, Insightful)

ledow (319597) | about 4 months ago | (#46965617)

I'm skinny. Everyone comments on it. At 35 you can put your fingers around the widest parts of arms without difficulty.

I basically live on sugar. I drink Coca-Cola endlessly (do not drink hot drinks, tend to have sugar in them when I do). I pig out on high-fat, high-sugar food and lived off fast food for many years. I eat sweets like a child and have to curb my appetite for sweets only because I work in a school and they are banned there for the kdis themselves (so I have to hide them, etc.). I also don't really exercise. At all. Ever. Never been to a gym in my life.

Yes, I have a "health" problem that's going to catch up with me in the end. Until then, I enjoy my food. And sweets. And crisps. And everything I feel like eating.

And people in work keep asking how I stay so skinny. How I have so much energy. I'm still the guy work colleagues ask to move heavy cabinets etc. when they need moving.

Blanket rules curb the average, but it does not mean there's an instant 1:1 relationship with every person's metabolism and diet. I'm sure my cholesterol and blood sugar are off the scale at points in the day. But my health, generally speaking, is pretty damn good.

I've been to doctors about 3-4 times in the last TEN YEARS. Once to have a toenail removed. Once to be diagnosed with swine flu (but had 5% of the symptoms of everyone else who had it, I just needed it confirmed as I work in schools and had to be certified off-work - I've probably had less than 5 sick days in the last five years). Three times to register with new doctors (so not medically-related, just administration). Who all take my BP, quiz me, and then never mention a thing about my health - probably because I look thin.

I live in a country with free healthcare, so I'm certainly not self-medicating here - in fact I don't medicate... people know I'm really bad if I ask for a paracetamol as I just don't take ANYTHING generally speaking (not some hippy-drive, just don't take pills for things unnecessarily and the rare headache I have will go in the same amount of time, pills or not).

The problem is not the general availability of high-sugar, high-fat foods. The problem is that humans are NOT all the same and BMI, in particular, is a REALLY bad measure (technically I'm underweight so advice would be to eat more of the bad stuff....). The focus on a metric rather than the person is part of the modern medical degeneration of personal contact. "I don't care who you are, you're over this number, eat less."

I trust doctors implicitly. I consult them when required. I regard them as qualified experts in their field who don't need me bothering them for a sniffle but will trust my life to them any time. However, I also have not been to doctors in years, and also have had to go with friends to doctors and tell THEM what the problem is (and then had it confirmed by GP, consultant specialist, etc.).

Health != skinny. Health != fat. Health != a number. It's a statistic and thus, as a mathematician, almost certainly a lie chosen to suit the intended outcome.

Don't ban sugar, or tax it. Start with a health system that has time for patients and to listen, and go from there. People are adults who can make their own choices and who can understand the consequences in seconds if they want to. Regulating sugar - of all things - is the ultimate nanny-state.

Re:Sugar (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#46965751)

You're ectomorph. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Somatotype_and_constitutional_psychology#The_three_types

That's it.

Re:Sugar (1)

MrL0G1C (867445) | about 4 months ago | (#46965769)

That lifestyle will catch up with you, you are likely aging you heart and increasing your risk of cancer. (pot kettle black here). IMO to be healthy just excercise (get a bike) and eat plenty of fruit+veg+fibre and when buying foods pick the ones with lower sat-fats.

Re:Sugar (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#46965771)

I basically live on sugar. I drink Coca-Cola endlessly (do not drink hot drinks, tend to have sugar in them when I do). I pig out on high-fat, high-sugar food and lived off fast food for many years. I eat sweets like a child and have to curb my appetite for sweets only because I work in a school and they are banned there for the kdis themselves (so I have to hide them, etc.). I also don't really exercise. At all. Ever. Never been to a gym in my life.

You have the diabetus. Type 2. Your vision and circulation will start failing soon if you don't cut back.

Re:Sugar (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#46965889)

You have the diabetus. Type 2. Your vision and circulation will start failing soon if you don't cut back.

Lets take a medical diagnosis from an AC that cannot spell! (bold mine for emphasis)

Re:Sugar (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#46965917)

Sure, coming from someone who can't spell let's and doesn't keep up on the memes. Fuck you. (bold mine for emphasis)

And BTW, learn to [sic] if you feel you are quoting an erroneous word.

Re:Sugar (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#46965943)

Don't you knock Wilford Brimley.

Re:Sugar (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#46965927)

I'm skinny. Everyone comments on it. At 35 you can put your fingers around the widest parts of arms without difficulty.

I basically live on sugar. I drink Coca-Cola endlessly (do not drink hot drinks, tend to have sugar in them when I do). I pig out on high-fat, high-sugar food and lived off fast food for many years. I eat sweets like a child and have to curb my appetite for sweets only because I work in a school and they are banned there for the kdis themselves (so I have to hide them, etc.). I also don't really exercise. At all. Ever. Never been to a gym in my life.

Yes, I have a "health" problem that's going to catch up with me in the end. Until then, I enjoy my food. And sweets. And crisps. And everything I feel like eating.

Diabetes doesn't wait until you're obese or old, but hey, eat up! Enjoy all that horrible food Perhaps you'll even get addicted to it. That's certainly what the other group of statisticians want out of all this (those would be the marketing people behind junk food who are trying to make you all addicts...and succeeding)

Don't ban sugar, or tax it. Start with a health system that has time for patients and to listen, and go from there. People are adults who can make their own choices and who can understand the consequences in seconds if they want to. Regulating sugar - of all things - is the ultimate nanny-state.

Yes, people understand the consequences alright, just as you have, right? You're stuffing your face with shit food because you don't SEE the damage it's doing in the form of fat hanging off your body or damage to your organs, but hey, you supposedly understand those "consequences in seconds". Yeah, so does every other person. They also make the same shitty decisions you're making and CHOOSE to ignore the hell out of all of it, which is why we have an obesity problem in the first place.

And you think the solution to that is...more time in front of your healthcare professional.

I'm not even sure what kind of message you were trying to convey here, but you failed horribly. Enjoy your food (and your illusions) while you can.

Re:Sugar (1)

wiredlogic (135348) | about 4 months ago | (#46965745)

I don't have a sugar free diet by any stretch. I do have an innate loathing of excessive amounts of sugar and eat candy sparingly but it isn't by conscious choice.

Europe is moving to the right. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#46965497)

And collecting all its ills, too.

Re:Europe is moving to the right. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#46965509)

Don't you mean "moving to the left"? Unless you are looking at it upside-down...

Re:Europe is moving to the right. (1, Interesting)

MrL0G1C (867445) | about 4 months ago | (#46965531)

It's not becoming more socialist, the Lisbon treaty demands our gov'ts sell all govt property, everything is supposed to be run by corp's - that's EU law!.

As they say: (2)

Zanadou (1043400) | about 4 months ago | (#46965499)

"If you can't eat 'em - join 'em"

Re:As they say: (3, Interesting)

PolygamousRanchKid (1290638) | about 4 months ago | (#46965785)

They also say:

"In a poor country, only the rich can afford to get fat."

"In a rich country, only the rich can afford to stay thin."

Re:As they say: (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#46965845)

Whatever, if that's the excuse these wheelbarrows are going to use, then great. Taste of reality FTFA:

"The UK and Ireland, where obesity prevalence is among the highest, possess unregulated liberal market economies similar to the US, where the collective actions of big multinational food companies to maximise profit encourages over-consumption,” they write.

People live longer (1, Insightful)

flyingfsck (986395) | about 4 months ago | (#46965501)

As people live longer on average, the average symptoms change. Eventually, all these older fat people will get cancer. Nothing new here.

Re:People live longer (1)

MrL0G1C (867445) | about 4 months ago | (#46965535)

Or heart disease, cars cause obesity, lack of exercise. Bicycles are the cure.

Re:People live longer (1)

findoutmoretoday (1475299) | about 4 months ago | (#46965581)

Bicycles are the cure.

As long as your knees last

Re:People live longer (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#46965625)

My knees are holding out much better riding a bike than running, thank you very much.

Re:People live longer (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#46965941)

Bicycles are the cure.

As long as your knees last

They'll last a hell of a lot longer than the alternatives such as running or weightlifting.

And if they start to get weak, then do Yoga. The point of it all is to not ever stop exercising, no matter what age. Our bodies are machines that require it. I don't know why we feel that should ever stop at a certain age.

Re:People live longer (1)

peragrin (659227) | about 4 months ago | (#46965583)

Sitting n an office chair for 8-12 hours a day doesn't help much either. I miss my old job where I was on my feet all day long. Now I am in a chair for the entire day and it sucks.

What we need to do is to automate management, and accounting systems and go work on our feet all day. Obesity will disappear.

Re:People live longer (1)

rogoshen1 (2922505) | about 4 months ago | (#46965757)

dude, lots and lots of people work manual labor jobs and are still fat. the reality is more like caloric consumption would increase to about 105% of the increase in expenditure. it's like being married and getting a raise.

Re:People live longer (1)

Kjella (173770) | about 4 months ago | (#46965861)

Huh? My impression was that the fat people mostly died from cardiovascular problems aka old body can't take the strain while the thinner mostly died from cancer. Sure, you have somewhat more cells that could go cancerous but I've never heard obesity being a big risk factor for cancer.

goddamn (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#46965519)

eurofats

eurofats - eurofags (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#46965645)

eurofats

Yep... eurofags!
I am a Greek (based on the article "projected proportions of male obesity for Greece: 40%) that 20 years ago, when serving as a conscript in the Greek marines, had the change to train with some USA marines in a NATO exercice (where marines from other European countries were also participating) - in the begining i made fun of those USA marines for beeing "large" but in the end, and when compering them against our collective European manhood... well, i realized that our European cuisine uses too much estrogens!

BMI is 2d but people are 3d (3, Insightful)

pijokela (462279) | about 4 months ago | (#46965545)

The formula for BMI is weight(kg) / heigth(m) * height(m). This formula only has two terms for height, but in reality I'm a 3d person. What I mean with this is that it is easier for a short person to be "normal weigth" in BMI. As people on average get taller and taller more and more people are going to be overweight. On the other hand many of my male friends are lifting weights and they are all "overweight" while clearly they are not fat.

So, while the problem is probably real and severe, I'd like to see a better way of measuring this stuff.

Re:BMI is 2d but people are 3d (2)

KozmoStevnNaut (630146) | about 4 months ago | (#46965569)

I agree, BMI is a horrible metric. It would be much more meaningful to use body fat percentage to evaluate if someone is overweight.

And even then, it doesn't always hold up for individuals. My BMI is ~31.5, my body fat is right around 30%, but I'm in extremely good health, good cholesterol numbers, no diseases, good blood pressure, stable blood sugar levels, no diabetes, all of those things. But I lift weights and I'm not into the cut and striated bodybuilder thing. Sure, I'd love to lose some fat, but not at the cost of my current good health.

Re:BMI is 2d but people are 3d (0)

ExecutorElassus (1202245) | about 4 months ago | (#46965595)

your math is a bit wonky. "weight/kg) / height(m) * height(m)" is just "weight(kg)." Perhaps you meant "height(m)^2" ? Extra parentheses help clarify terms.

Re:BMI is 2d but people are 3d (1)

jones_supa (887896) | about 4 months ago | (#46965685)

Mod parent back up, he is correct.

Re:BMI is 2d but people are 3d (4, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#46965629)

BMI is a [poor] approximation of body fat percentage [wikipedia.org] (that article lists a few ways to measure it; I know people with eletronic scales that use bioelectrical impedance analysis [wikipedia.org] when you step on them barefoot). Wikipedia has a section on it in the BMI article [wikipedia.org] including a scatterplot of BMI vs. body fat % [wikipedia.org] I hadn't seen before. Basically, BMI is used because it is much easier to measure than body fat %, but it does not tell the whole story. Importantly, BMI is far more meaningful for a population than for an individual because the error cancels out to some extent.

Re:BMI is 2d but people are 3d (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#46965797)

It's interesting to see that even with all its problems, BMI still has some predictive power when used for whole populations... but that is one shitty use of a linear regression! It's quite clear that it is flattening out at the higher BMI values and BF rises very quickly with BMI at lower values of BMI, so something like a ln model would probably fit the data much more convincingly...

Re:BMI is 2d but people are 3d (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#46965631)

I'm short, 5'6", but broad, 2' shoulder to shoulder. BMI doesn't take into account that I know various people my height at least 2-4" less broad than I am.

Send us a postcard from Stockholm. (1)

Hognoxious (631665) | about 4 months ago | (#46965739)

The formula for BMI is weight(kg) / heigth(m) * height(m). This formula only has two terms for height, but in reality I'm a 3d person.

Congratulations, I'm sure nobody has noticed that before.

I mean, It's entirely impossible that people don't scale up like, say, solid bronze statues would. Furthermore it'd be ludicrous to suggest that the formula wasn't an empirically derived approximation but was just made up by someone who wasn't as math-smart as you.

Re:BMI is 2d but people are 3d (3, Interesting)

wiredlogic (135348) | about 4 months ago | (#46965801)

BMI isn't supposed to be used for measuring this stuff. It was developed to be an expedient way to gather data on large populations of people. Its inaccuracies become smoothed out with a large enough sample size. It is always wrong to apply it to an individual and make decisions based on it.

The better way exists in the form of the US Navy body composition assessment which includes the circumference of the neck and waist. Nobody wants to take the time to do that in a clinical setting so it isn't used in the civilian world.

Good (0, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#46965549)

They'll make better targets for the next big war with Russia. Once their small, super-downsized professional armies will have been wiped out, the EU Commission will order every able-bodied male (and probably female) not part of the Ruling Elite or their servant workforce to the front where they'll be cut to shreds by machine gun fire, blown to bloody chunks by artillery and burned to death from the inside out by thermobaric weapons. It will be the show of a lifetime, watching a generation of unemployed youth exterminated in the name of Yoorop. All for naught, of course, but that's in tune with the rich Euro-nazi cultural heritage.

Re: Good (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#46965601)

Seek help. Make an appointment with a psychiatrist. I'm seriously worried about your mental health. Get well soon.

Re:Good (1)

jones_supa (887896) | about 4 months ago | (#46965655)

Spicy! Write a fictional novel around that theme, I'll read it.

Agricultural subsidies is a big part of it. (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#46965555)

Consider this:
http://www.pcrm.org/images/gm/autumn2007/pyramid.jpg

Present economic policies in western countries actively encourage companies, fast food chains and restaurants to make unhealthy food products. Since these companies want to sell their products, they will also push unhealthy eating habits in advertising, movies and TV-series and so on. There is basically a huge economic incentive to push people to eat an unhealthy diet, and thus you get strongly financed opposition to the type of changes that would address the issue, such as serving more fruit and veg in school, limiting the calorie content of fast food and so on...

Re:Agricultural subsidies is a big part of it. (2)

Carewolf (581105) | about 4 months ago | (#46965669)

Europe does not subsidize corn production or corn sugar like the US does. Even coca cola here is made with real sugar. Some countries even have sugar taxes, but obesity rates are still going up. Something else is wrong too.

Re:Agricultural subsidies is a big part of it. (1)

jellomizer (103300) | about 4 months ago | (#46965705)

The problem is that we are looking at problems and trying to find an easy fix to them!
If we ban or stop this one thing than it will all be better.

Sure we know if Calories in > Calories out = fat.
However counting calories in real life is difficult. Also they are foods that are Calorie dense but also have nutrients and other stuff that makes us feel satisfied longer so we don't eat as much. Then we have "Diet" foods low in calories, but low in nutrients too, so after we eat it, we get hungry again and again, so we eat more calories trying to get the nutrients that we are really craving.

I would also point out that we are in a global depression. Sure the economy may be improving but the individuals world wide, are feeling depressed and not empowered. This lack of empowerment makes us more opt to stay at home and just survive and not take any risks, as the system is increasingly out to prevent us from taking risks. When we are not going out taking risks, we are not out and moving thus we burn less calories per day.
 

OK (1)

findoutmoretoday (1475299) | about 4 months ago | (#46965557)

My son has a BMI of 14, coming from 12; going to 30 would be a real improvement. In the statistics 18 (healthy) is more morbid than 36 (morbid obesity), but thin is a good business model.

"Down with fat-shaming!" (5, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#46965559)

People like Gok Wan that make people take pride in how awful their bodies look is partially to blame for this epidemic.
People are no longer ashamed to be fat larding morons wobbling around the streets.
Fat-shaming NEEDS to be a thing. Despite what those childish tumblr-tards say. You shouldn't be happy you are fat. You shouldn't at all. It is an abnormality. The human body hasn't evolved to deal with it. And it shouldn't evolve to deal with it. It shouldn't even be happening.

And while I have mentioned this, these people only make it accepting. It is the bad fast-foods, the premade foods and ready-meal generation that are corrupted.
THESE need to change more than anything. All these companies can put as much spin on it as possible, "oh, our meals are only meant to be one-offs every so often", or whatever other bullshit they can come up with, they are partly responsible for this.

Quite frankly, I say make people pay double for healthcare if they become obese through circumstances out of their own hands. (illnesses, genetics, and some medications like the steroidal types)
And if they haven't fixed it by 10 years, make it official and roll it out across the countries. There is no reason to be fat unless you have severe illness, genetics or medications. No reason at all. (NHS UK included. I am from UK and I would be for those changes. Screw equality, these people aren't equal any more, equality was based on averages, they are well outside the range of these averages!)
Even WHEN eating all these fattening foods, you can still exercise it off completely.

More physical classes in school should also be a thing. Hell, go experimental, have classes on foot if possible. Teach people while walking around the school, a forest, a school garden, whatever. There are various classes that could be taught on foot. They don't even need to be long classes either, they can be spaced out in amongst other classes, 15-30 minute classes on foot, standing about, writing on a notepad (with backing to make it sturdy), gets them used to being outside, standing while doing other things instead of sitting down to do things.
Seriously, fund it. If that doesn't breed an active generation, I don't know what will.
Nothing beats relaxing after exercising. Relaxing all the time? It is sickening. I don't know how people can be a semi-permanent couch potato day-in day-out.

Re: "Down with fat-shaming!" (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#46965653)

Being fat IS actually the result of evolution and the remnant of harsh times back in the stone age. The ability to store fat has evolved so that in times of no food you would still be able to keep going. Literally.

To the rest of your drivel : you might want to look up the time Rembrandt was alive. Fat was beautiful back then and a sign of wealth and health. Skinny supermodels of today would have been considered poor and ugly. If fat or skinny is en vogue is defined by the era you are living in.

If you want to raise healthcare costs for obese people, so should we do that for smokers, C2H5OH-drinkers, outdoor/risk sports (like climbing, hiking, outdoor cycling, etc), car drivers and everyone who doesn't live in bubble. Why do I need to pay YOUR costs due to injuries while pursuing idiotic extreme sports?

Long story, no point : its not your life. While super extreme obesity (>200 kilograms) is certainly bad, it's difficult to draw a line.

Do you want to fay shame everyone with an BMI of over 20? 15? 30?

Anorectic people might consider YOU fat and would like to shame you. Or do you consider yourself the perfect role model?

Re: "Down with fat-shaming!" (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#46965687)

Skinny supermodels are en vogue because fashion is dominated by gays and women. Porn stars aren't usually skinny, though they have fake boobs, fake lips, fake asses. Probably not very healthy either but at least they don't look like holocaust survivors and don't die when they forget to eat their one apple.

Re:"Down with fat-shaming!" (1)

jones_supa (887896) | about 4 months ago | (#46965665)

I heard that in East Asia countries it is more common to people point out that you are fat. They are not necessarily angry but more like "wow, you're been gaining some weight, my friend". Something like that should indeed come in spades to the western world too, instead of people being extremely careful of "not insulting" (wavy hands) anyone.

Re:"Down with fat-shaming!" (3, Insightful)

dejanc (1528235) | about 4 months ago | (#46965883)

When I was visiting my parents once, after getting out of shower all wet and with a towel on, I got an epic line from my father: "Go back to the bathroom, put on some clothes, and lose 10 kilos, before you enter the living room".

In many parts of Europe (I can speak for the Balkans for sure), it's perfectly normal to comment on weight and friends and family. It's not said out of malice, it's with best intentions. And if anything, when everybody you know starts commenting on how fat you are getting, you start and think if it's time to go on a diet. It also usually means that you can get some support from family and friends if you need to change your lifestyle to lose weight, so it can work out good.

It's different with children though - they can be rough and tease/bully you for being fat. For some kids that can be an incentive to take up a sport, for some it will be nothing but trauma.

Re:"Down with fat-shaming!" (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#46965817)

When we see obese animals, we are overwhelmed with pity for the animal and a little anger for the caretaker. With obese humans, the animal is usually the caretaker, so the pity sometimes shifts wholly to anger or disgust. If the anti-shamers think obese animals are normal or cute when they take three steps then collapse from the strain, then at least they're consistent. But I doubt they do.

Bugger (1)

Hognoxious (631665) | about 4 months ago | (#46965639)

That means we won't have anything to tease them about.

Re:Bugger (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#46965837)

dont you worry any, there's still PLENTY of stuff to make fun of.... more material than you could possibly use up in your (now shortened due to your newfound obesity) lifetime.

India (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#46965657)

When do we get to reach this status? Please outsource your eating habits to us.

Dammit (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#46965671)

Can't those Europeans let us be better at something

America the fallen (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#46965681)

We can't be first in anything anymore.

Women fair better? Not from what I've seen (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#46965683)

Everywhere I go nowadays when I see a younger couple it's a normal sized man with an overweight woman. It's like normal sized women don't even exist any more and this is the best they can do.

Now with older couples (say aged 30 and up) they're almost always both fat. Probably the man adapted to her lifestyle over time.

Re:Women fair better? Not from what I've seen (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#46965763)

Everywhere I go nowadays when I see a younger couple it's a normal sized man with an overweight woman. It's like normal sized women don't even exist any more and this is the best they can do....

I have a theory about this. "normal" sized women are in such high demand. They are usually attracted to the men with the biggest wallets. Leaving the rest of us to fight over their rejects...

Re:Women fair better? Not from what I've seen (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#46965847)

More cushion for the pushin'. It's harder for skinny women to straddle obese men, but obese women can straddle a skinny man just fine.

Not sure if any policies will help the fact that.. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#46965695)

..it seems food producers globally are instructed to lace everything with more and more sugar. The USA is the best example - sugar and/or HFCS added to everything, even the most unthinkable.

Slashdot poll (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#46965727)

Are you overweight?

health advice is 30-60 mins exercise per day (2)

SkunkPussy (85271) | about 4 months ago | (#46965731)

I have lost 2 stone / 28 lb / 13kgs over the last 18 months after I scrapped my car and started cycling to work (7 miles each way). I have no interest in going to the gym - no time for that - and I'm not particularly bothered about sport. If I had kept my car I would inevitably drive whenever I was going to be late for work, which would be all the time. So what worked for me was to leave myself no option other than to do exercise every day.

Re:health advice is 30-60 mins exercise per day (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#46965915)

Learn to have some self control and enjoy getting groceries on your bike.

The experts found that.. and they are wrong... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#46965773)

Basically don't believe these news. See data and you would be surprised how rigged these studies are.

http://velvetgloveironfist.blogspot.cz/2014/05/yet-more-obesity-babble.html

The exprts warn: most of the studies reported in newspaper are totally wrong....

so far, USA is the only country i've seen this (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#46965795)

In the USA I've seen people who must use motorized chairs to move about, not because they are handicapped or paralyzed in any way, but merely because they are morbidly obese. I've not seen that in any other country so far.

I can vouch for Ireland's fatness (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#46965827)

The highest obesity prevalence in females was projected in Ireland (47%)

As someone from Ireland I can vouch for that. Used to be nice feminine creatures - now fat pig dogs, almost all of them, hyper tense, feminist trolls

Pretty logical (2)

nurb432 (527695) | about 4 months ago | (#46965877)

As a society becomes more technologically advanced there is less and less actual physical work being done by most of its citizens.

Couple that with more readily available food ( both good and bad kinds ), and a general lack of personal control, being overweight makes logical sense in many parts of today's world.

I eat a lot of junk food (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#46965885)

...but I also cycle 20km daily to and from work. People should have some physical activities included in their everyday routines. If e.g. your workplace is only a few kilometers away, why not cycle?

Stop the theft of American culture! (1)

NemoinSpace (1118137) | about 4 months ago | (#46965921)

Next is our guns. That's always how it happens. But they will never take our stupidity. Nope, We have ALGOR. hahaha yes ALGOR! Bwahahahaha. Bwahahahahaaaaaaaaahaaaahaaa.

Skinny fat (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#46965925)

No doubt there will be a lot of overweight Eurotrash in years to come - the UK is already there imho. Ireland too.

But what about all the people who are 'skinny fat'? The young people who look slender but have appalling muscle density - is that any healthier?

This is effectively (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#46965945)

the slow erasing of the unique American culture and identity. There may be a war over this.

an effective solution (4, Insightful)

Max_W (812974) | about 4 months ago | (#46965949)

Closing cities to all automobile traffic. This is it.

Commuting becomes very fast as bicycles do not need traffic lights.

There are cargo bicycles too for supplying shops. Strangely people will eat less as they move more. Anyone who was on a long distance cycling tour could not to fail to notice it. People overeat due to to an anxiety. And regular physical activity reduces anxiety dramatically.

As a by-product we get that there will be no bad areas in a city due to traffic noise and pollution.
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