BBC Homepage World Service Education
BBC Homepagelow graphics version | feedback | help
BBC News Online
 You are in: Health
Front Page 
World 
UK 
UK Politics 
Business 
Sci/Tech 
Health 
Background Briefings 
Medical notes 
Education 
Entertainment 
Talking Point 
In Depth 
AudioVideo 



Chairman of the Vienna Congress, Dr Hermann Toplak
"There seems to be a real epidemic now"
 real 28k

Wednesday, 30 May, 2001, 08:28 GMT 09:28 UK
Obesity epidemic warning
Overweight man
More than 300 million people are obese in the world
By Bethany Bell in Vienna

Health experts gathering in the Austrian capital, Vienna, have warned that obesity is rising to epidemic proportions.

Delegates at the 11th European Congress on Obesity say the problem affects more than 300 million people worldwide.

Obesity figures
Obese men in Europe: 10-20%
Obese women in Europe: 10-25%
Obesity in America: 25-33%
Obesity health care expenditure: 2-8%
Organisers of the congress say obesity in men, women and children is increasing rapidly in many Western and in some developing countries.

They say the problem is beginning to replace malnutrition and infectious diseases as the most significant contributor to ill health worldwide.

Obesity is not just restricted to industrialised countries. In developing countries, it is estimated that more than 115 million people suffer from weight-related problems.

Obesity risks

The 2,000 scientists, doctors and nutritionists at the Vienna congress are considering research about the role of genetics, metabolism and drugs in contributing to the problem, as well as new therapies to treat it.

Overweight woman
Losing weight can protect against disease
Up to now, low-fat diets, exercise programmes and drugs that suppress the appetite have been the main methods used to combat obesity.

But the chairman of the congress, Dr Hermann Toplak, says new treatments such as the slimming pill Xenical, which inhibits the breakdown and absorption of fat, and the appetite-controlling drug Reductil, are changing the way doctors treat the condition.

Obese people are at greatly increased risk from a wide range of conditions, including diabetes, heart disease, strokes and certain cancers.

Search BBC News Online

Advanced search options
Launch console
BBC RADIO NEWS
BBC ONE TV NEWS
WORLD NEWS SUMMARY
PROGRAMMES GUIDE
See also:

24 May 01 | Health
New drug to beat obesity
17 May 01 | Health
Obesity link to cancer
22 Mar 00 | Health
Obesity clue to cancer rise
10 Jul 00 | Health
Warning over UK obesity levels
30 Mar 01 | Health
Obesity 'starts in the womb'
09 Mar 01 | Health
'How obesity drug helped me'
Internet links:


The BBC is not responsible for the content of external internet sites

Links to more Health stories are at the foot of the page.


E-mail this story to a friend

Links to more Health stories