Obesity rates have reached “epidemic proportions” in Europe, the World Health Organization (WHO) has said. The issue was highlighted in a major report unveiled at the European Congress on Obesity on Tuesday
The rates are “still escalating,” the health watchdog warned, stating that no country in the region was expected to meet the WHO global noncommunicable disease (NCD) goal of halting rising obesity rates by 2025.
“Alarmingly, there have been consistent increases in prevalence of overweight and obesity, and not a single Member State of the Region is on track to reach the target of halting the rise in obesity by 2025,” the report reads.
The disease is contributing to some 1.2 million deaths and causing some 200,000 cases of cancer in the region annually. This figure is set to grow further, and in some countries obesity is projected to overtake other cancer risk factors, including even smoking, the report says.
“Across the WHO European region, obesity is likely to be directly responsible for at least 200,000 new cancer cases annually, with this figure projected to rise in the coming decades,” the document reads.