Variations in the Prevalence of Obesity Among European Countries, and a Consideration of Possible Causes

John E. Blundell*, Jennifer Lyn Baker, Emma Boyland, Ellen Blaak, Jadwiga Charzewska, Stefaan de Henauw, Gema Fruhbeck, Marcela Gonzalez-Gross, Johannes Hebebrand, Lotte Holm, Vilma Kriaucioniene, Lauren Lissner, Jean-Michel Oppert, Karin Schindler, Analiza Monica Silva, Euan Woodward

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review


Over the last 10 years the prevalence of obesity across the European continent has in general been rising. With the exception of a few countries where a levelling-off can be perceived, albeit at a high level, this upward trend seems likely to continue. However, considerable country to country variation is noticeable, with the proportion of people with obesity varying by 10% or more. This variation is intriguing and suggests the existence of different profiles of risk or protection factors operating in different countries. The identification of such protection factors could indicate suitable targets for interventions to help manage the obesity epidemic in Europe. This report is the output of a 2-day workshop on the 'Diversity of Obesity in Europe'. The workshop included 14 delegates from 12 different European countries. This report contains the contributions and discussions of the materials and viewpoints provided by these 14 experts; it is not the output of a single mind. However, such is the nature of scientific analysis regarding obesity that it is possible that a different set of 14 experts may have come to a different set of conclusions. Therefore the report should not be seen as a definitive statement of a stable situation. Rather it is a focus for discussion and comment, and a vehicle to drive forward further understanding and management of obesity in Europe. (C) 2017 The Author(s) Published by S. Karger GmbH, Freiburg

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)25-37
Number of pages13
JournalObesity Facts
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2017


  • Obesity
  • Risk factors
  • Causes
  • FOOD

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