We’ve all heard the stereotype. Maltese people love food. We love putting seven different layers of chocolate on a pancake or four different types of cheeses in our triple burgers. And hey; we’re not very big on exercise either. Put ’em together and what have you got? Our obesity rates are close to unmatched in the entire continent.
Malta is currently sitting on an obesity rate of 28.9%… which is second only to Turkey in all of Europe
It is in fact only Turkey, with 32.1%, that has managed to come up with an even more worrying statistic. The United Kingdom, in the meantime, trails close behind with 27.8%.
The situation only gets worse when you only look at Malta’s adolescents
In a graph showing the prevalence for overweight and obese adolescents aged 13-years-old, Malta’s problem truly shines. Standing tall over literally everyone else, both male and female percentages are a good 10% higher than every single country, both sitting at around 35%.
Considering the European average is currently 23.3%, we’ve still got a lot of work to do until we’re in a better, safer zone.
“Alcohol consumption, tobacco use and over-weight and obesity remain major public health problems in the European Region,” WHO’s report states. In fact, rates of alcohol consumption and tobacco use in our continent are actually the highest globally.
As the continent edges closer to 2020 and a number of health objectives set by a group of countries, WHO commented on what these latest findings mean in the context of Health 2020. And, surprisingly, it doesn’t look that bad at all.
“Using data obtained from a survey conducted by the WHO Regional Office for Europe on the qualitative indicators for Target 6, this midpoint assessment of the Health 2020 policy deployment in the Region showed that an increased number of Member States are effectively aligning national policies with Health 2020 policy, adopting the required implementation plans, and establishing accountability mechanisms for monitoring and assessing their progress,” the report stated.
However, a number of countries still clearly have a lot more progress to do as far as health goes… and with Malta sitting on top of the table once again, it’s safe to say more needs to be done. Especially considering we’re also topping alcoholic charts in the meantime.