SPANISH girls, aged between six and nine, are the second-most-obese in Europe, according to new research.
Around 17% of girls in this age group in Spain are obese, while Cyprus had the worst prevalence with 19%.
Meanwhile, Spanish boys in the same age group are Europe’s fourth-most obese in Europe, after Greece (20%), Italy (21%) and Cyprus (21%).
Montenegro and San Marino are tied with Spain on 19%, while some well-known overweight countries, such as the UK, France, Germany and Russia, were left out of the study, which covered 21 European nations.
A “decline” in the Mediterranean Diet, which includes fish, nuts, olive oil, fruit and vegetables, has been blamed by scientists for the poor results produced in Spain, Greece and Italy.
Dr João Breda, head of the World Health Organisation’s European office for Prevention and Control of Non-communicable Diseases, who led the research, said:
“The loss of the Mediterranean Diet in southern European countries could be linked to this severe, obesity problem.
“Without timely, appropriate and effective policy measures to prevent obesity, there is a risk that prevalent rates in these countries will, eventually, match the levels seen in other European countries.”
Data for 636,933 analysed children, aged 6-9, indicated that there were 400,000 obese children in this age group, of the 13.7m in the 21 countries studied.
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