(NaturalNews) British women are the fattest in Europe, an EU report States. In Britain, 24% of women are classified as obese, compared to just 9.3% in Italy, 12.7% in France and 15.6% in Germany. This is a fact backed up by Britain's own NHS (National Health Service) statistics released during national obesity week. The report raised a particular concern about the rate of obesity among younger women in the UK as obesity rates have increased by almost double over the last 10 years.
The EU's statistics, which collected data from 2008 to 2009, were based on the Body Mass Index (BMI), which measures weight against height (the calculation is weight divided by height squared using Kg and meters).
A BMI of between 18.5 and 25 is classified as healthy, 25 to 30 is classified as overweight, while above 30 is obese and over 40 is morbidly obese. Anything above 50 is now considered super obese. The British men didn't fare much better, falling into second place in Europe, behind Malta, with 22.1% being classified as obese.
The correlation between obesity and the western diet is obvious -- the more processed the diet is in general, the more obesity we see. And this is not down to just MSG and free glutamate in food, although the countries to the upper end of the spectrum do consume large amounts. Japan, a developed country with one of the lowest obesity rates, has one of the highest consumption rates of MSG. The Japanese, however, generally include a large quantity of fresh fish and vegetables in their diet.
The western diet of processed foods containing chemically enhanced flavours (to increase consumption and therefore profits), high levels of fat and sugar, and a sedentary lifestyle has led to a calorie intake far outweighing the calories burnt in physical activity. It is so easy to just throw a burger in the microwave for a snack, yet would the consumer eat the burger if they had to mince the beef, add other ingredients, stand there and cook it? Having convenience products which turn what would traditionally be main meals into snacks will always mean that excess calories are consumed.
The costs of obesity to the UK economy are increasing over time and have been estimated to exceed 45 billion dollars by 2050 rising from a cost of 7 billion dollars in 2001 -- worldwide obesity is estimated to cost in excess of 15 times this figure.
About the author: D Holt has written over 200 articles in the field of alternative health and is currently involved in research in the UK into the mechanisms involved in healing due to meditation, hypnosis and spiritual healers and techniques. Previous work has included investigations into effects of meditation on addiction, the effects of sulfites on the digestive system and the use of tartrazine and other additives in the restaurant industry. new blog is now available at http://tinyurl.com/sacredmeditation or follow on twitter @sacredmeditate