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Fattiness No Longer an American Trait

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    Fattiness No Longer an American Trait

    BRUSSELS, Belgium (AP) -- At least seven European countries now challenge the United States in size -- at least around the waistline.

    In a group of nations from Greece to Germany, the proportion of overweight or obese men is higher than in the United States, experts said Tuesday in a major analysis of expanding girth on the European continent.

    "The time when obesity was thought to be a problem on the other side of the Atlantic has gone by," said Mars Di Bartolomeo, Luxembourg's Minister of Health.

    In Cyprus, the Czech Republic, Finland, Germany, Greece, Malta and Slovakia, a higher percentage of men are obese or overweight than the estimated 67 percent of men in the United States, according to a report from the International Obesity Task Force, a coalition of researchers and institutions.

    The analysis was released as the 25-nation European Union announced an initiative to enlist the food and marketing industries in the fight against fat.

    Obesity is especially acute in Mediterranean countries, underscoring concerns that people in the southern region are turning away from the traditional diet of fish, fruits and vegetables to fast food high in fat and refined carbohydrates.

    In Greece, for example, 38 percent of women are obese, compared with 34 percent in the United States, the group said.

    Even in countries with low rates of obesity, troubling trends are emerging. In France, obesity in women rose from 8 percent in 1997 to 11.3 percent in 2003, and from 8.4 percent to 11.4 percent in men.

    The change in diets, which the obesity task force said has occurred over the past two decades, affects children most because it is reflected in school lunches.

    The task force estimated that among the EU's 103 million youngsters the number of those overweight rises by 400,000 each year. More than 30 percent of children ages 7 to 11 are overweight in Italy, Portugal, Spain and Malta, it said.

    That matches estimates for American children. Among American adults, about two-thirds are overweight or obese; nearly one-third qualify as obese.

    The International Obesity Task Force, which is advising the European Union, had estimated in 2003 that about 200 million of the 350 million adults living in what is now the European Union may be overweight or obese.

    However, a closer evaluation of the figures in the latest analysis indicated that may be an underestimate, according to the group.

    To counter the worsening trend, the EU is pushing a united effort from the food and marketing industries, consumer groups and health experts.

    "The industry is being challenged to demonstrate, transparently, that it is going to be part of the solution," Philip James, chairman of the IOTF said in a telephone interview after the launch of the program in Brussels.

    "They have to say how much more money they will add to help solve the obesity problem. They have to put forward a plan on how exactly they are going to contribute year by year, and their contribution has to get bigger every year," he added.

    The food industry says it will better inform consumers with detailed nutrition labels. The EU office also wants tastier healthy foods to compete with high-calorie, non-nutritious fare.

    Studies have shown that being overweight can dramatically increase the risk of certain diseases, such as diabetes. Obesity is also linked to heart disease, high blood pressure, strokes, respiratory disease, arthritis and some types of cancer.

    "We can have disastrous effects from (obesity) on health and the national economy," EU Health Commissioner Markos Kyprianou said.


    Looks like America's exporting more than high-quality sitcoms worldwide. It's also sending out dietary patterns and influencing cultures.

    Yeah, America's a nation of fatties, but we've got plenty of company now.

    I won't settle with being number two. Sorry Chicago guys, but I won't be able to attend the throwdown. I'll be too busy drinking malt liqour and eating pasteries. I must gain weight to secure America's position as #1. Say goodbye to thin Andrew. Say hello to morbidly obese Andrew.


      Dude, if you're really serious about this, you could single-handedly raise the national average to the point where there would be no more competition.

      Or, you could just devise a plan to kill off all of the skinny people. Just tell me first, so I can bulk up beforehand. :)



        On the other hand, more fatties in the country possibly means a more solvent Social Security system:

        Obesity could help keep Social Security solvent because people will die younger. "One of the consequences of our prediction is that Social Security does not appear to be in nearly as bad a shape as we think," said study author S. Jay Olshansky.

        University of Illinois at Chicago researchers Wednesday reported the rise in obesity will result in a drop in life expectancy.

        Professor S. Jay Olshansky's team, writing in the March 17 issue of the New England Journal of Medicine, said obesity currently reduces life expectancy by four to nine months.

        The researchers said the life-span effects of obesity could rise two to five years in the next 50 years, possibly exceeding the current life-shortening effects of cancer or heart disease.

        Most life-span forecasts are based on historical trends, which the researchers said fail to consider the obesity epidemic.

        They noted obesity actually could help keep Social Security solvent because people will die younger.

        "One of the consequences of our prediction is that Social Security does not appear to be in nearly as bad a shape as we think," Olshansky said.

        "The obese may be inadvertently 'saving' Social Security, but the obese themselves and the healthcare system that cares for them will pay a very heavy price in terms of higher death rates and escalating healthcare costs."


          Excuse me whilst I take a moment to relish this thought.


          Oh god damn that feels good! What's that that feels so good? Ah yes, the part where Europe can't hold this shit over my head anymore- STFU EUROPE! BWAHAHAHAHA JUST AS FAT AS US!!!

          Laughing all the way to the gym ^_^ Cause I ain't fuck'n fat, ya fat Europeans!



          Thank you very much for posting this article ^_^


            i would like to encourage all american males to stuff themselves to the point of obesity ...

            not only would it help save your social security ... it will also create new jobs in the economy in healthcare, biotech, pharmaceutical, fitness, grocery, meat industry, retaurants, etc ...

            it would also increase the value of those males amoung us who stay fin ... among females of course ...

            it needs not be said that government mandated and enforced diets should be legislated for all females of childbearing ages ... =)
            totoro-san ... world sushi munching champion ...


              But what is the source of all this fast food and lazy culture?

              Where the hell is Britain in that list? I thought we ruled Europe at being fatasses.
              Mr Politically Correct GIJoe6186:
              Fat people disgust me in every way imaginable. I was at Freindly's with my girl tonight and saw a bunch of fat fuckers. I felt sorry for the pavement they were killing and the people who had to see them. .


                Excellent. Now there is no reason to be weight conscious. As long as you're not dead last, it isn't something that needs to be improved on.
                Lone Wolf McQuade Final Fight:


                  *Waiting for America to invade to reclaim top spot and enforce proper diet, exercise and Atkins and low cal diets on the oppressed people*
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                    At what point is some "over weight" and at what point is someone "obese" ?


                      Originally posted by ronin69
                      At what point is some "over weight" and at what point is someone "obese" ?
                      Don't know, but if you can't see your own shoes looking down, it's a safe bet you're too damn fat. :wrestlerb
                      Originally posted by pauli
                      i was once told that "do" means wrecking people's shit for your own philosophical betterment.

                      Originally posted by melvin_peebles
                      I could be mistaking dumbness for delusion. I'll have to go dig out my DSM IV. It's great to have stumbled upon this site. The rich fauna and flora of mental dysfunction that exists in the martial arts is amazing. It's like the Galapagos.


                        Originally posted by ronin69
                        At what point is some "over weight" and at what point is someone "obese" ?
                        It's generally based on a BMI of 30 or greater.

                        For example, since I'm 5'9, I'd have to weigh just over 200 lbs to be considered obese.