The obesity problem in the world 

The situation in Poland is not the best when it comes to obesity. My country has been ranked 5th in the World Food Safety Index study. In Europe, only the inhabitants of the United Kingdom are ahead of us

In terms of obesity rates, Poland is ahead of Russia, where 24.1 per cent of the population suffers from obesity, as well as Belarus (23.4), Germany and Ukraine (20.1 per cent of obese people in both countries). Among neighbouring nations, only the Czechs (26, 8 per cent) and Slovaks (25, 7 per cent) are more obese than Poles.

As the Index shows, obesity is the biggest problem in the UK, where as much as 28.1 per cent of the population suffers from it. In contrast, the 'slimmest' Europeans are the Austrians, with only 18.4 per cent affected. Also below the European average in terms of obesity are the Danes (19.3 per cent) and the Swiss (19.4 per cent each).

Globally, the highest percentage of obese people live in the Gulf Cooperation Council countries (Qatar, Kuwait, United Arab Emirates, Bahrain, Saudi Arabia, Oman). Drastic changes in eating habits in recent decades have resulted in 36, 7 per cent of the population there struggling with obesity. The United States (33, 7 per cent), Jordan (30, 5 per cent) and Turkey (29, 5 per cent) face a similar problem. In contrast, the lowest percentage of obese people, in terms of developed countries, live in Japan (3, 3 per cent).

The obesity rate is defined as the percentage of the population over the age of 20 that is obese. Obesity is understood here as an age-related body mass index (BMI) level per person of more than 30. The obesity index translates indirectly into food security, determining the level of access of a country's population to sufficient, nutrient-rich food.

Obesity is one of the major global challenges of the 21st century. Some scientific sources are already talking about an epidemic or even a pandemic of obesity. In Europe, the prevalence of obesity has tripled over the past two decades, according to the World Health Organisation (WHO).

The WHO has identified obesity as the most dangerous chronic disease, which, if untreated, leads to the development of cardiovascular disease, type 2 diabetes, metabolic syndrome, endocrine disruption and also increases the risk of certain cancers.

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