Monday, January 09, 2006

Being overweight not just a US problem

For years I've heard people go on about how fat US citizens are. And there is no doubt that there are plenty of large Americans. It does look, though, that other nations are not far behind...starting with France:

PARIS (AFP) - French children are catching up to their US counterparts in the obesity stakes, a group of French pediatricians said.

The scales are tipping towards obesity at a rate of five percent per year since 1997 in France, the same rate as seen on the other side of the Atlantic, the AFPA association said.

"This regular increase is especially worrying and, if nothing is done, it suggests there will be a minimal difference between the two countries within 15 years," it said in a statement.

The association made the warning on the eve of an obesity-testing operation it was to carry out Saturday in 83 French towns and villages.

Its first such operation, carried out last year, showed that 61 percent of children tested carried more weight than should be healthy for their size.

"These percentages show that parents are becoming aware too slowly and aren't concerned enough about their child's 'baby fat'," one of the organisers, Brigitte Virey, said.

According to the paediatricians, obesity can start appearing from around age two, with children aged from seven to 12 the most affected.

Two-thirds of children who are obese carry that condition into adulthood, along with its associated risks of cardio-vascular problems, diabetes and poor self-image.

France's state National Statistics Institute released a study last November showing that 40 percent of French adults are overweight.

Indeed. Maybe they need to start running, too. I tell you what, you start running, and you can eat just about anything...and not be overwieght.


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