The wealthier the thinner5th July 2006
Wealthier countries have less obesity, according to a new study.
Almost one in five people in Hungary are obese, three times that in France, Italy and Norway, according to the study, which uses data from 24 countries across Europe.
The study, in the European Journal of Public Health, shows that Central and Eastern European nations have some of the highest rates of obesity, and suggests obesity varies with economic and other indicators; there is less obesity in countries with a higher gross domestic product and in nations with higher percentages of city dwellers.
It is not all clear cut - the prevalence of obesity among men is higher in the United Kingdom than in Russia, where women are nearly twice as likely to be obese as men.
The authors used national surveys to determine the sex specific prevalence of people with a body mass index of more than 30.
Among men, obesity ranged from 7.1% in Italy to 18.4% in Hungary and among women from 5.8% in Norway to 20.4% in Hungary. Overall rates ranged from 6.2% in Norway to 19.5% in Hungary.
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