Experts examine problems of obesity

About 2000 experts from 80 countries are taking part in the 14th European Congress on Obesity in Athens to discuss aspects of the problem.

    The number of overweight young people has tripled in the US

    Much of the four-day meeting, which began on Wednesday, will be devoted to obesity's consequences, which include cardiovascular disease, respiratory problems, diabetes, depression and cancers.

    A leading expert said that obesity, which affects more than 300 million people and an alarming number of children, should be recognised and treated as a disease with deadly complications.

    "Obesity is not an aesthetic problem. It is a very complex problem tightly connected to diabetes, atherosclerosis [blocked arteries] and other major health problems and causes of death. It has to be treated and confronted seriously,"  Professor Constantine Tsigos, chairman of gathering, said ahead of the meeting.

    "The emphasis has been put on the complications to increase the awareness of obesity as a disease and a serious condition with many risks associated with it," said Tsigos.

    Statistics

    Up to 8 percent of healthcare costs in some Western countries are attributable to obesity and related problems.

    It is a leading cause of preventable death, so shedding excess weight is not just about looking good.

    In European countries, rates have soared by 10%-50% in the past decade.

    In Japan, the rate has doubled since 1982, and in the United States, the percentage of young overweight people has tripled in 25 years.

    Tsigos said prevention efforts must be geared to the young because excess weight in children is linked to early markers for metabolic syndrome - a collection of health risks that increase the odds of developing heart disease, stroke and diabetes.

    SOURCE: Reuters


    YOU MIGHT ALSO LIKE

    How different voting systems work around the world

    How different voting systems work around the world

    Nearly two billion voters in 52 countries around the world will head to the polls this year to elect their leaders.

    How Moscow lost Riyadh in 1938

    How Moscow lost Riyadh in 1938

    Russian-Saudi relations could be very different today, if Stalin hadn't killed the Soviet ambassador to Saudi Arabia.

    The peace games: Dreaming big for South Sudan's youth

    The peace games: Dreaming big for South Sudan's youth

    A relatively new independence and fresh waves of conflict inspire a South Sudanese refugee to build antiwar video games.