Bulgaria Has Europe's Fifth Worst Child Obesity Record

Bulgaria Has Europe's Fifth Worst Child Obesity Record

Sofia, October 10 (BTA) - Bulgaria has Europe's fifth worst child obesity record, Prof. Svetoslav Handjiev of the Bulgarian Association for Study of Obesity and Related Diseases, said here Monday. He was speaking at a BTA-hosted news conference a day ahead of World Obesity Day, October 11.

There is a barely noticeable downward trend for obesity but it is only valid for girls.

A national study for nutrition among children older than 1 year showed a considerable increase of obesity among boys aged 1 to 5: to 7.1 per cent in 2014 from 3.3 per cent in 2004.

Europe-wide, 22 million children below 5 years of age are overweight and some 5 million are obese.

Prof. Handjiev said that the prevention of heart diseases starts in the first 100 days from the inception of a child and women must not gain more than 15-16 kg during their pregnancy.

The diet of Bulgarian children is showing an increased consumption of refined sugar and soda as well as fats and salt, insufficient consumption of yogurt, fish, fruit and vegetables. There is not much physical activity either. Students aged over 14 start to drink alcohol at an early age and drink frequently.

Among further bad habits, Bulgarian children spend 25.7 hours per week on average in front of the TV.

For comparison, children in the Netherlands and Belgium only watch TV for 14.5 and 15.5 hours a week.

Source: Sofia