WHO: Europe is Living an Obesity 'Epidemic'

    WHO: Europe is Living an Obesity 'Epidemic'
    Last updated Jul 25, 2022
    Image credit: Alamy [via The Guardian]


    • On Tues., the WHO published a report stating that obesity has reached epidemic proportions in Europe and is behind 200K cancer cases and 1.2M deaths/year.[1]
    • According to the 2022 Regional Obesity Report, ~60% of adults in Europe are overweight or obese, including 1 in 3 children. The health crisis has been exacerbated by COVID lockdowns according to the report.[2]
    • Obesity prevalence in Europe is higher than in any other part of the world except the Americas, and the WHO partly blames the problem on digitized societies of meal delivery apps and video games.[1]
    • Obesity is among the leading causes of disability and death in Europe and can cause cancer, chronic respiratory diseases, strokes and other cardiovascular diseases, liver and kidney problems, back pain, and mental health issues.[3]
    • Among its calls for action, the WHO recommends fiscal interventions such as taxes on sugary drinks and subsidies for healthier foods, limits on the marketing of unhealthy foods to children, and measures to improve childhood diets, among others.[4]


    Narrative A

    Obesity is an ongoing problem that knows no borders and must be addressed. No single intervention will halt this growing epidemic; it must be tackled with a multifaceted approach.

    Narrative B

    While obesity is a problem, the bigger issue at hand is fat-shaming. Weight stigma actually contributes to unhealthy eating behaviors, lower physical activity, and weight gain. Stigma is an enemy to health and needs to be taken more seriously.

    Articles on this story