By Laura Kemp • 17 November 2021 • 16:42
Experts warn of obesity "pandemic" in Spain. Image - Shutterstock
Experts ask for a national multidisciplinary and transversal plan to tackle the obesity “disease.” The wake-up call was launched today, November 17, by the Spanish Obesity Society (Seedo), the scientific entity that brings together experts in the field.
Data shows more than 60 per cent of Spanish adults are overweight (around 24 per cent are obese and the rest are overweight) and 40 per cent of children from 6 to 9 years old are overweight.
This latest figure leads specialists to predict a “tsunami of cases” in the coming decades.
“Obesity is a problem that will accompany us in the coming years if strong measures are not taken. Strategies must be proposed to prevent and fight obesity because it is not an aesthetic problem but one of the most important diseases for health systems,” warned the president of Seedo, Francisco Tinahones.
Tinahones clarified that specific actions that are “drops” in the ocean of obesity are not useful, but that a global plan is needed.
He suggests that this strategy include financing from the health system for drugs against obesity, a tax policy that penalises unhealthy food products and encourages healthy ones, an urban plan that creates spaces for exercise, the promotion of physical activity, food labelling that clearly reflects how healthy or unhealthy a product is and regulations that prohibit certain advertisements.
“And education, education, education” to the population about healthy habits, insisted the president of Seedo.
He recalled that of all the parents whose children were overweight in the Aladino study, only 20 per cent were aware that they were overweight.
Tinahones recalled that it has been shown that obese people “have a much higher risk of needing hospitalisation and admission to an ICU as well as a higher risk of mortality.” That is why specialists see it as “profitable” in the long term for the health system to finance the treatments.
The experts recalled that obesity is a disease that affects “from head to toe” since it has a negative impact on all organs. In addition, they pointed to excess weight as “one of the factors most unequivocally associated with severity and mortality” in patients with Covid.
The vice president of the society Albert Lecube called for “respect for patients” who “have not always been given due attention, often stigmatising them.” In addition, he warned of the “discrimination” they suffer from society and the “guilt” put upon them.
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Originally from UK, Laura is based in Axarquia and is a writer for the Euro Weekly News covering news and features.
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