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Europeans see obesity increasing

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Europeans think there are more obese adults and children today than there were five years ago, according to a new poll by the European Union.

However the proportion of people who consider themselves overweight, at 38%, is roughly the same as in 2002. An average EU citizen now weighs 72.2kg (11st 5lb) and is 1.7m (5ft 7in) tall. About one in five have changed their eating habits in the last year, with most of these trying to eat more fruit and vegetables, and less fat. More than 80% of those polled totally agreed or tended to agree that obesity was on the increase, and felt that governments should do more to tackle the problem. Some 55% thought their weight was about right. The proportion of people considering themselves overweight varied from country to country - from 25% in Slovakia to 50% in Luxembourg. In the UK the figure was 41% - 5% down on 2002.

Women were more likely than men to consider themselves overweight - 44% compared with 32%. On average, respondents said they spent more than six hours a day sitting down. Only 22% said they had performed a lot of physical activity in the seven days before they took part in the poll. One in three, on average across the EU, said they had performed no physical activity in their leisure time. Just over half of respondents said they did not have enough time to take advantage of the facilities for physical activity in the area where they lived. People from Hungary, Luxembourg and Denmark were heaviest for their height, and Italians and French were the lightest. People in Luxembourg were on average 2.7kg (6lb) heavier than in 2002, while in the Netherlands they were 0.8kg (1.75lb) lighter. People in the UK were 0.2kg (0.4lb) lighter. (BBC NEWS)

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