Norwegians getting fatter

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Health authorities in Norway are ringing alarms once again because rising numbers of Norwegians are now suffering from obesity. A new survey indicates that a quarter of all adults in Norway are simply too fat.

“We see a worrisome development among young adults and adults,” Dr Haakon E Meyer of the state public health insitute Folkehelseinstituttet told state broadcaster NRK on Wednesday. Meyer said that the latest numbers from surveys carried out in the counties of Troms and Trøndelag show that 25 percent of men and 22 percent of women are categorized as obese.

It’s called fedme in Norwegian, and its frequence is now “much higher” than it was 20 years ago, Meyer told NRK. He said that numbers collected from state statistics bureau SSB and the military (the latter collected in connection with qualifying young adults for military service) indicate the trend is found nationwide, not just in Troms and Trøndelag.

“Average weights are rising also,” he said. “We have fewer Norwegians who are thin, and fewer who have normal weight, and more who are overweight, more who are obese.” All the numbers are based on a so-called BMI (Body Mass Index) of 25 to 29 for those characterized as overweight, and 30 or higher for those who are obese.

The numbers of overweight or obese children, however, have levelled off, with around one of every six children classified as either overweight or obese. “It’s good news that the portion of overweight children has stabilized and is no longer rising,” Meyer said.

He added that there are more overweight and obese adults in rural areas and small towns in Norway, than in the cities. “There’s also data suggesting this is a bigger problem in Northern Norway than in Southeastern Norway,” he said. staff