Bucharest, July 4, 2015/ Independent Balkan News Agency
By Daniel Stroe
As many as 21.3 percent of Romanians aged over 18 are obese, according to a study of the Romanian Association for Study of Obesity (ARSO) which also reveals the country’s poorest region has the highest rate of obesity.
The incidence of overweight among adults is 31.3 percent, ARSO President Dr. Gabriela Roman also mentioned. According to the study, the incidence of obesity increases with age: 9.9pct up to 39 years of age, 31pct at ages of 40-59 and 41.6pct over 60 years.
Broken down by regions, Moldova, the country’s poorest region, leads with 23.8pct, followed by Oltenia and Muntenia with 21.3 and Banat, Crisana and Transylvania with 18.8pct. Moldova also leads the overweight ranking with 33.54pct; the rate is 32.2pct in Oltenia and Muntenia, the national average is 31.3pct, and rates are lower in Banat, Crisana and Transylvania (28pct).
The propensity to weight problems is higher among the rural population, an unexpected result according to Dr. Roman. The study began in the summer of 2014; it was carried out by eight specialized physicians on a representative sample of 2,100 adults in eight regional centers.
In a separate news run by the state agency Agerpres, official statistics indicate bread as the main source of calories for Romanians. Calories consumed by Romanians in 2014 came mainly from bread, less from meat and dairy. Grain and grain products ensured almost 40pct of the number of calories in Romanian households last year, show the data released by the National Statistics Institute, which may explain the high overweight incidence.
In overall households, meat and meat products had a modest share in the number of food calories intake (11.3pct). In 2014; the calories from milk, dairy products (cheese and sour cream) and eggs had a share of 11.3pct in the total number of calories. According to the INS, the average daily consumption per person in pensioners’ households was 2,555 calories, and in jobless people’s ones 2,078 in 2014.
The daily average consumption per person in the households of employees was 2,355 calories, while farmers ate 2,416 calories daily last year.
Another study done late last year showed Romanians consume almost twice as much sugar as the average Europeans, namely 30 kilograms per year compared to 16. Separately, the Health Ministry also warned last year a quarter of the 8 year olds are obese, while five per cent are malnourished.