53%, that is more than half of all Europeans, are overweight, shows a new report by the European Commission and the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD). The document also suggests the recession has probably contributed to the rise in obesity.
The number of overweight Europeans has increased over the last decade from one in eight to reach one in six in 2012 (16.7%). In Belgium, obesity is affecting an increasing number of people (13.8%), but this increase is still slower than in France or Luxembourg and also remains below the European average.
Obesity is also shown to be more common in low-skilled sections of the population and in those from underprivileged areas. According to data from countries such as Great Britain, Germany and Finland, obesity also seems to be linked to temporary financial difficulties.