Eupedia Forums
Site NavigationEupedia Top > Eupedia Forum & Japan Forum
Page 1 of 2 12 LastLast
Results 1 to 25 of 30

Thread: Fatland Europe?

  1. #1
    Unswerving bicyclist thomas's Avatar
    Join Date
    14-03-02
    Posts
    145


    Country: Japan



    Fatland Europe?

    I have just finished an eye-opening book entitled "Fatland - How Americans Became the Fattest People in the World" by Greg Critser. Critser basically expands on why the obesity rate in the US soared from 25% in the 70s to 61% (!) nowadays: Americans eat more (they finish no matter how large portions are) and exercise less as a result of the food industry's "supersizing". In particular the rate of child obesity - and related - Type 2 diabetes is quite alarming. It seems that in the 80s a lot of public schools started to rely on fast food chains to provide school lunch. Demographically, being fat seems to be directly related to income: the poor become the fattest.

    Anyhow, an excellent book I recommend.

    Hoooooowever, it appears that some European countries are fast gaining ground in terms of obesity. Last Thursday the Japan Times (sorry, no online version available) reported that the proportion of overweight or obese men is higher in some European countries than in the US. Finland, Germany, Greece, Cyprus, the Czech Republic, Slovakia and Malta have exceeded the US's 67% in overweight or obese males.

    Some numbers:

    Percentage of adults obese or overweight

    Men

    Greece 78,6%
    Germany 75,4%
    Czech Rep. 73,2%
    Cyprus 72,6%
    Slovakia 69,0%

    US 67,0%

    Women

    Greece 74,7%
    Malta 67,0%
    Germany 58,9%
    Cyprus 58,0%
    Czech Rep. 57,6%

    US 57,0%


    8% of the current health care costs in the EU can be attributed to the effects of obesity. The International Obesity Task Force (IOTF) estimates that among the EU's 103 million youngsters the number of overweight children rises by 400.000 each year! More than 30% of children between 7 and 11 years of age are overweight in Italy, Portugal, Spain and Malta. The IOTF states for example that Spain's classical diet of fish, olive oil and fruits has developed into a diet full of meat, high-fat food and sugar during the past 20 years.

    Bon appetit!
    Last edited by thomas; 20-03-05 at 02:51. Reason: Typo. Thanks Brooker. :)

  2. #2
    カメハメ波! Glenn's Avatar
    Join Date
    08-01-04
    Location
    D'ville, LA
    Posts
    354


    Ethnic group
    caucasoid
    Country: United States



    So, it isn't just the US. Interesting.

    Quote Originally Posted by thomas
    Demographically, being fat seems to be directly related to income: the poorer become the fattest.
    This makes a lot of sense to me. After all, I sometimes go a while eating only two Jumbo Jacks from Jack in the Box because it only costs $2.16 after tax. I think you'd be hard pressed to find a cheaper meal that will fill you up.

  3. #3
    Your Goddess is here Ma Cherie's Avatar
    Join Date
    23-03-04
    Location
    Kansas City
    Posts
    468


    Ethnic group
    African American
    Country: United States



    "Fatland--How Americans Became the People in the World" Good book I must say. But how is it possible for some European countries to have do deal with obesity? What kind of food are they eating?
    “All right then, I’ll go to hell”―and tore it up. It was awful thoughts and awful words, but they was said. And I let them stay said; and never thought no more about reforming.
    The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn
    by Mark Twain (Samuel Clemens)

  4. #4
    Regular Member bossel's Avatar
    Join Date
    28-09-03
    Location
    germany
    Posts
    790


    Country: Germany



    Quote Originally Posted by thomas
    Finland, Germany, Greece, Cyprus, the Czech Republic, Slovakia and Malta have exceeded the US's 67% in overweight or obese males.
    I don't know where the Japan Times got the numbers from, but according to the German Federal Bureau of Statistics (Statistisches Bundesamt), German obesity is not worse than the US one.

    German figures of BMI (Body Mass Index):

    <18.5 (underfed?): 0,9% of the population
    <25 (normal): 41,4%
    <30 (overweight): 44,1%
    >30 (obese): 13,6%

    Compared with the US overall figure of 65% for obesity & overweight combined, by the NCHS, the German figures are still lower. The figures for obesity alone are even considerably higher in the US: an estimated 31%!

    Another question is, whether a BMI of 25-30 is really that bad. I suppose, it very much depends on the individual constitution.
    But, yeah, the situation is getting worse in Europe, too. The current trends in youth culture are not really encouraging.

  5. #5
    Unswerving bicyclist thomas's Avatar
    Join Date
    14-03-02
    Posts
    145


    Country: Japan



    Quote Originally Posted by bossel
    I don't know where the Japan Times got the numbers from, but according to the German Federal Bureau of Statistics (Statistisches Bundesamt), German obesity is not worse than the US one.
    According to the article these numbers were provided by the IOTF. The IOTF is a charity collaborating with the International Association for the Study of Obesity and the WHO.

    German figures of BMI (Body Mass Index):

    <18.5 (underfed?): 0,9% of the population
    <25 (normal): 41,4%
    <30 (overweight): 44,1%
    >30 (obese): 13,6%
    Bad enough.

    Another question is, whether a BMI of 25-30 is really that bad. I suppose, it very much depends on the individual constitution.
    Even on an individual level, too much body fat is just too much. There must be a reason the WHO calls obesity a "global epidemic".

    Quotes:

    "Overall between 30% and 40% of all cases of cancer - three to four million cases worldwide every year - could be prevented by better diets, more physical activity and maintenance of appropriate body weight."
    => http://www.iotf.org/cancer/index.html

    "Obesity is a significant contributory factor in coronary heart disease, along with an inappropriate diet and physical activity."
    => http://www.iotf.org/heart/index.html

    The correlation of obesity and diabetes has already been mentioned. More info
    => http://www.iotf.org/diabetes/index.htm


    Links:

    Defining Overweight and Obesity
    => http://www.cdc.gov/nccdphp/dnpa/obesity/defining.htm

    BMI resources
    => http://www.cdc.gov/nccdphp/dnpa/bmi/index.htm

    U.S. Obesity Trends 1985–2003
    => http://www.cdc.gov/nccdphp/dnpa/obes...maps/index.htm

    Trends in Child Obesity in the U.K.
    => http://www.iotf.org/childhood/index.html


    Anyhow, I do not intend to argue about numbers and figures. What I originally wanted to point out is that Europe is no longer a trendsetter in terms of healthy lifestyle. Europe is getting fat, too.

  6. #6
    Satyavrata Maciamo's Avatar
    Join Date
    17-07-02
    Location
    Lothier
    Posts
    9,498


    Ethnic group
    Italo-celto-germanic
    Country: Belgium - Brussels



    Quote Originally Posted by Ma Cherie
    But how is it possible for some European countries to have do deal with obesity? What kind of food are they eating?
    The found can be very different from one country to the next. I remember eating Eisbein in Germany, which is almost only a big piece fat from pork legs.

    It's no wonder that the country Thomas listed are related (in 2 groups) : Germany and Czech Rep are neighbours, while Greece and Cyprus are almost the same country, and Malta is quite similar culturally too.

    I think that France and Italy have some of the lowest obesity levels in Europe.
    My book selection---Follow me on Facebook and Twitter --- My profile on Academia.edu and on ResearchGate ----Check Wa-pedia's Japan Guide
    ----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    "What is the use of living, if it be not to strive for noble causes and to make this muddled world a better place for those who will live in it after we are gone?", Winston Churchill.

  7. #7
    Anjin
    Join Date
    10-04-04
    Location
    Seattle, Washington
    Age
    44
    Posts
    370


    Ethnic group
    Mainly: Italian, German, Scottish, Irish
    Country: United States



    What's going on in Greece? They're pushin' 80%!
    For information on the pros and cons of teaching at Nova English schools in Japan, check out

  8. #8
    Regular Member bossel's Avatar
    Join Date
    28-09-03
    Location
    germany
    Posts
    790


    Country: Germany



    Quote Originally Posted by thomas
    According to the article these numbers were provided by the IOTF. The IOTF is a charity collaborating with the International Association for the Study of Obesity and the WHO.
    Funny, though, I looked at this webpage before I posted my response & the mother organisation of the IOTF, the IASO has an annual review with a world map, which also shows the US on a higher obesity level than Germany, & Europe in general.

    Even on an individual level, too much body fat is just too much. There must be a reason the WHO calls obesity a "global epidemic".
    Heyheyhey, I'm not defending obesity. Actually, I hate it & could never understand why people, if they are not ill, could deform their body in such a way.
    There is also no question that obesity is unhealthy. What I doubt, though, is that low overweight levels are that bad. Maybe there is a slight growth in health risks, but probably not so much more than by living in a city, or eating too many sweets (as I do), or eating 1 or 2 eggs every day.

    Anyhow, I do not intend to argue about numbers and figures. What I originally wanted to point out is that Europe is no longer a trendsetter in terms of healthy lifestyle. Europe is getting fat, too.
    No doubt about that. & with the current trend in eg. German schools, which tend to axe PE lessons for lack of money, it won't get much better.
    But I wonder whether Europe ever was an example in regards of a healthy lifestyle. Maybe some parts of the Mediterranean (though probably not Greece) did rather well.

    I think, what really is changing, is the part of society that is gaining weight. Just like in the US, the poor are growing fat. & I honestly don't know, how this trend should be stopped. Government programmes & prohibition of advertisements probably won't help. Education might do, but everybody already knows that obesity can be dangerous.

  9. #9
    Your Goddess is here Ma Cherie's Avatar
    Join Date
    23-03-04
    Location
    Kansas City
    Posts
    468


    Ethnic group
    African American
    Country: United States



    What about lifestyle? I know lifestyle effects diet to a degree. Are Europeans working alot more? What's going on? I don't think it's just less income that's causing the increase in obesity.

  10. #10
    Satyavrata Maciamo's Avatar
    Join Date
    17-07-02
    Location
    Lothier
    Posts
    9,498


    Ethnic group
    Italo-celto-germanic
    Country: Belgium - Brussels



    Quote Originally Posted by Ma Cherie
    What about lifestyle? I know lifestyle effects diet to a degree. Are Europeans working alot more? What's going on? I don't think it's just less income that's causing the increase in obesity.
    It's also a matter of education. People in some countries (including Japan) do care a lot about what they eat, check the vitamins, calories, try to eat balanced, avoid bad cholesterol, avoid GM's, etc.

    Considering that the US has the highest poverty rate of any developed country (over 12% of the population according to official stats), and that the quality of the US education system depends a lot on how rich one is, that could partly explain why so many people in the States don't care much about what they eat.

    I don't think Europeans work more or exercice more than Americans on average, It may even be the opposite (I see American people as sport-obssessed). I am not sure it has to do with quantities either. I eat probably as much as an average American (maybe even more!) but just don't get fat, with very little exercice. Maybe it is because I think a lot, and that most of the energy consumed by the body is used by the brain. Or because I eat more balanced and more healthy food (wholegrain cereals every morning, and I only eat Kellog's, so not all American food is bad ).

  11. #11
    Your Goddess is here Ma Cherie's Avatar
    Join Date
    23-03-04
    Location
    Kansas City
    Posts
    468


    Ethnic group
    African American
    Country: United States



    That is true Mac, people who live in poverty in the US according to some research are more likely to suffer from health problems such as heart disease and things like that. Yes, I do believe that income and education can play a role and along with other factors. And also Mac, you pointed out that France and Italy have the lowest obesity levels. I don't know about Italy, but I do think that the reason why France has a low obesity level is that (french women in particular) care a lot about body image. Possibly more than most women in other countries I would say. But then I could be wrong.

  12. #12
    カメハメ波! Glenn's Avatar
    Join Date
    08-01-04
    Location
    D'ville, LA
    Posts
    354


    Ethnic group
    caucasoid
    Country: United States



    Quote Originally Posted by Maciamo
    I eat probably as much as an average American (maybe even more!) but just don't get fat, with very little exercice. Maybe it is because I think a lot, and that most of the energy consumed by the body is used by the brain.
    Are you serious? That seems hard to believe, but I am known to be quite the eater, and I weigh less than almost anyone else my size I've ever met by 20-30 lbs. I don't know that I think that much, though. This is the first I've ever heard of that.

  13. #13
    Chukchi Salmon
    Join Date
    22-12-04
    Location
    Sunny South Korea
    Posts
    642


    Ethnic group
    Paleo-Asian
    Country: South Korea



    Quote Originally Posted by Maciamo
    I eat probably as much as an average American (maybe even more!) but just don't get fat, with very little exercice. Maybe it is because I think a lot, and that most of the energy consumed by the body is used by the brain.
    That's quite true, Mac. Even the average human brain is supposed to consume 50 % of all bloodflow, glucose, and oxygen, while 25% of all bodily heat losss occurs at the head.
    My figures are a bit mushy, so feel free to correct me.
    Quote Originally Posted by Glenn
    That seems hard to believe, but I am known to be quite the eater, and I weigh less than almost anyone else my size I've ever met by 20-30 lbs. I don't know that I think that much, though.
    It happens to me. I eat like a horse, and gain no weight at all. My full meal would usually amount to 2-3 times that of the average adult with the result that everyone is amazed at my Gargantuan appetite. I tell them, "I'm the human form of a Porsche or Ferrari, and the engine's in the head." And the way your brain works is no less than Mac's or mine, so there you go !
    We'll continue the program after this short message. *~upbeat grundge music played by Bloody Brooker~*
    Quote Originally Posted by Maciamo
    I eat more balanced and more healthy food...wholegrain cereals every morning, and I only eat Kellog's
    The preceding message was brought to you by Kellogg's Foods International. *~more grunge music~*
    Last edited by lexico; 20-03-05 at 13:36.
    Z: The fish in the water are happy.
    H: How do you know ? You're not fish.
    Z: How do you know I don't ? You're not me.
    H: True I am not you, and I cannot know. Likewise, I know you're not, therefore I know you don't.
    Z: You asked me how I knew implying you knew I knew. In fact I saw some fish, strolling down by the Hao River, all jolly and gay.

    --Zhuangzi

  14. #14
    Banned
    Join Date
    22-04-03
    Location
    アメリカ
    Posts
    240


    Country: United States



    I think that France and Italy have some of the lowest obesity levels in Europe.
    I couldn't find the Japan Times article either, but according to an NHK report from Naples last Thursday, something over 1/3rd (36% ?) of Italian kids, particularly concentrated in the south, are considered overweight and top the charts with the highest BMI values in Europe.

  15. #15
    Original Prankster
    Join Date
    17-03-05
    Location
    California
    Posts
    45


    Ethnic group
    Look, I'm so American I don't even *know* anymore. Suffice it to say I am white as all get out.
    Country: United_States



    The french people are indeed the slimmest in Europe. However their numbers also are up compared to just a few years ago.

  16. #16
    Banned
    Join Date
    22-04-03
    Location
    アメリカ
    Posts
    240


    Country: United States



    Quote Originally Posted by Glenn
    So, it isn't just the US. Interesting.



    This makes a lot of sense to me. After all, I sometimes go a while eating only two Jumbo Jacks from Jack in the Box because it only costs $2.16 after tax. I think you'd be hard pressed to find a cheaper meal that will fill you up.
    They must just be a little over 99 cents each now ? Still a good deal for sure, although I prefer their tacos and never really considered forum members having to skimp on their meals.

  17. #17
    カメハメ波! Glenn's Avatar
    Join Date
    08-01-04
    Location
    D'ville, LA
    Posts
    354


    Ethnic group
    caucasoid
    Country: United States



    They're listed as being 99 cents on the menu. I think our sales tax is 8.5%. Were they cheaper before that?

  18. #18
    Banned
    Join Date
    22-04-03
    Location
    アメリカ
    Posts
    240


    Country: United States



    Quote Originally Posted by Glenn
    They're listed as being 99 cents on the menu. I think our sales tax is 8.5%. Were they cheaper before that?
    No, the one I ordered in California a few years ago that clocked in a little over a dollar (1.01 ?) must have been either a limited or temporary price increase. And there haven't been any more bad meat cases recently, plus Indiana's sales tax is around 6% so I really should be taking advantage of them again.

  19. #19
    Original Prankster
    Join Date
    17-03-05
    Location
    California
    Posts
    45


    Ethnic group
    Look, I'm so American I don't even *know* anymore. Suffice it to say I am white as all get out.
    Country: United_States



    plus Indiana's sales tax is around 6% so I really should be taking advantage of them again.
    Oh my, you're in Indiana. So tell us, how are the 1950's? I wasn't alive to experience them the first time around.

  20. #20
    Regular Member misa.j's Avatar
    Join Date
    06-05-04
    Location
    NYS, US
    Age
    49
    Posts
    234


    Ethnic group
    Asian
    Country: United States



    How poorly people eat makes me feel puzzled. I think the problem is a lot of people are not interested in cooking their meals anymore, and there are so many substitutes, ready to eat meals they can buy in a box out there.

    My boss is a so-called health consious wannabe but can't really do it person; she talks about how the detergent is hurting environment or shampoo is very toxic, blur blur blur while she eats and feeds her kids canned meat products or chips.

  21. #21
    Satyavrata Maciamo's Avatar
    Join Date
    17-07-02
    Location
    Lothier
    Posts
    9,498


    Ethnic group
    Italo-celto-germanic
    Country: Belgium - Brussels



    Quote Originally Posted by misa.j
    How poorly people eat makes me feel puzzled. I think the problem is a lot of people are not interested in cooking their meals anymore, and there are so many substitutes, ready to eat meals they can buy in a box out there.
    That's a good point. The only place in Europe I have seen people regularily eat "ready made food" was in Germany. Japan has also a lot of it in combini, but some of the take-away bento/katsudon/sushi are not nearly as bad for health as American fastfood. In fact some Japanese take-away food is as healthy as home-cooking (eg. the one sold in department stores).

  22. #22
    Original Prankster
    Join Date
    17-03-05
    Location
    California
    Posts
    45


    Ethnic group
    Look, I'm so American I don't even *know* anymore. Suffice it to say I am white as all get out.
    Country: United_States



    Japan has also a lot of it in combini, but some of the take-away bento/katsudon/sushi are not nearly as bad for health as American fastfood.
    This is really a bit of an over generalization of American fast food. The image that most people conjure in their minds is of the Hamburger, Fries and Coke. But truthfully there isn't a single fast food chain these days that doesn't offer several healthy choices of a meal.

    The problem is that people don't choose them.

  23. #23
    カメハメ波! Glenn's Avatar
    Join Date
    08-01-04
    Location
    D'ville, LA
    Posts
    354


    Ethnic group
    caucasoid
    Country: United States



    Just eat Subway, man! It worked for Jared!

  24. #24
    Regular Member sgt. Pepper's Avatar
    Join Date
    29-07-04
    Location
    Sweden
    Age
    33
    Posts
    67


    Ethnic group
    Swedish
    Country: Sweden



    The general opinion here is that American food is drenched in fat, and that you eat huge amounts of meat. :) But i don't know how true it is.

    Let's see if i can dig up some information on Swedens obesity problems.

    According to this* article half of Swedens male population has a BMI-value that is over 25, and the same for 36% of the women. 11% of all males and 10% of all women have a BMI that is over 30, they are obese (if i understand the word correctly).

    * http://www.regeringen.se/sb/d/2531/a/13798

    Ugly site name, translated it is www.goverment.se :)

  25. #25
    I love Sauerkraut! Shas's Avatar
    Join Date
    30-03-05
    Location
    Alabama
    Age
    33
    Posts
    40


    Ethnic group
    German/Polish
    Country: Germany



    overweight yes

    fat no

    i mean here you see many more people that are just HUGE like walrusses or so


    if you see both countries you'll know that i mean
    Wazabi overdose = no fun

Page 1 of 2 12 LastLast

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •