Estonia one of the most obese countries in the EU

According to the European statistics bureau, Eurostat, Estonia is one of the most obese nations in the European Union with 20.4% of the population aged 18 and over being obese.

Malta, the tiny island nation that joined the EU at the same time as Estonia, has scored highest in this not very flattering top with 26% of the adult population being obese. Latvia came in second with 21.3%, Hungary third (21.2%) and Estonia scored fourth. The United Kingdom followed Estonia with 20.1 per cent of people being obese.

The Eurostat statistics, based on the data collected in 2014, puts 46.1 per cent of the adults in the EU at normal weight, while 51.6% were considered overweight – 35.7 percent pre-obese and 15.9% obese. Only 2.3 per cent of the EU population was underweight.

That statistic puts nearly one in every six adults in the European Union obese as of 2014, based on the definition that anyone with a BMI over 30 is considered obese.

The least obese nations in the EU are Romania (9.4% of the population obese), Italy (10.7%), the Netherlands (13.3%) and Belgium and Sweden (both 14%).

In the European Union as a whole, there was little difference between men and women in terms of obesity. However, the proportion of obese women was greater than men in 11 countries: Belgium, Denmark, Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, Netherlands, Portugal, Romania, Slovakia, Sweden and the UK. France was the only country where both men and women were the same.

There is also a correlation between obesity and levels of education: 11.5% of well-educated adults in the EU were obese, compared with 19.9% for those that have a lower level of learning.

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Cover image is illustrative (courtesy of Wikimedia Commons.) Infographics by Euronews.

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About the author: Sten Hankewitz

Sten Hankewitz is a lifelong journalist and Deputy Editor of Estonian World. Having lived in Estonia, Spain and the UK, he now resides in the United States. He loves to write and besides contributing to Estonian World and some occasional blogging, he writes for other media outlets in Estonia, Israel and elsewhere. He has strong convictions and he shows them unashamedly. You can follow him on Twitter, friend him on Facebook or check out his personal blog. You can write to Sten at sten@estonianworld.com.

  • JJ

    I don’t know where that information comes from, but you see hardly any fat people on the streets. Certainly there are, but a lot less than in Helsinki or in Finland. Guess one can use statistics to fit any agenda, but as for being one of the most obese countries in EU, I say it’s nonsense.