Youth obesity on the rise in France

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A survey published Wednesday reveals that obesity has almost doubled among 18-24 year olds in France. Among adults, nearly half of the French population is affected by obesity or overweight.

“Nearly one in two French people are overweight and / or obese,” warns the League against obesity. The federation, created in 2014 to “change the view on obesity and improve the medical management of this disease”, is based on the publication, Wednesday, June 30, of the ObEpi-Roche survey carried out every three years, at the initiative of the pharmaceutical laboratory Roche.

For the first time, the study takes a closer look at childhood obesity and the findings are worrying. It is among the youngest French that obesity has increased the most in recent years, going from 5.4% in 2012 to 9.2% in 2020 among 18-24 year olds. The survey also shows that 34% of children aged 2 to 7 and 21% of 8-17 year olds are overweight or obese in France.

8.6 million obese people in France

In adults, obesity has continued to increase in recent years and now affects almost one in six people, while overweight is declining slightly, reaching 30% of the population.

As a reminder, corpulence is measured from the body mass index (BMI), obtained by dividing the weight (kg) by the square of the height (m2). A BMI between 25 and 30 indicates overweight, over 30 obesity, and over 40 massive obesity.

In 2020, 17% of adults were obese, or nearly 8.6 million people, against 10.1% in 2002, shows this survey.

“If women are always more affected than men”, with respectively 17.4% and 16.7% obese, “it is among the latter that the increases are strongest, especially in massive obesity “,” multiplied by 3 in 8 years “, underlines the survey. This now concerns 1 million people.

Obesity twice as high among the poorest

Obesity has multiple causes, including diet, physical inactivity and certain genetic predispositions. It is considered to be a major public health problem because it is “a risk factor for chronic pathologies (diabetes, hypertension, etc.) and has major psychological and social consequences (low self-esteem, depression, isolation, etc.). ) “, underlines the Ministry of Health. However, France, contrary to the recommendations of the WHO does not recognize it as a disease as such.

The ObEpi survey confirms that obesity is “correlated with social background”. It is “twice as high among popular categories (employees and workers) than among executives (18% against 9.9%).”

Regional disparities also remain strong, the North and East being more affected, while Pays de la Loire and Île-de-France are at the bottom of the list.

The survey was carried out on a representative sample of 9,598 adults, 542 adolescents aged 15 to 17 and 1,642 children under 15, interviewed online from September 24 to October 5, 2020.

With AFP

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