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22nd Feb 2020

Malta, Latvia, and Hungary top EU obesity charts

  • 1 in 10 young people are obese in Malta, the fattest nation in the EU. (Photo: Giuseppe Milo)

Obesity rates in Malta surpass all other EU states, followed closely by Latvia and Hungary.

More than a quarter of Malta's adult population are obese, followed by Latvia (21.3 percent) and Hungary (21.2 percent), according to figures released on Thursday (20 October) by the EU's statistical office Eurostat.

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Romania registered the lowest rate at 9.4 percent, followed by Italy (10.7 percent), and the Netherlands (13.3 percent).

The study also found that older and less educated people stand a much greater risk of being severely overweight.

"The proportion of obese persons in the EU falls as the educational level rises," says Eurostat.

It said almost 20 percent of people with a low level of education suffer from the health hazard, which drops by almost half for those with higher education.

People with a body mass index of over 30 are considered obese, which can lead a number of health problems like heart disease and diabetes.

Overall, around 1 in 6 adults in the EU is now considered obese.

A similar study by the World Health Organization last year had also ranked Malta with the highest obesity rates in the EU.

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