“I’m surprised by how fast this problem is escalating,” said Dagfinn Høybråten, the Norwegian health minister as he opened a conference health in Oslo today. “We need a weight loss promptly.”
Nine kilos heavier
Norwegians have gained a lot of weight the last couple of years. The average weight for Norwegians 40-year-old women has increased with 3.7 kilos the last couple of years, while the average weight for men has increased with 9.1 kilos.
“Obesity is one of our big challenges, and that is why it is important that everyone takes this challenge seriously,” Høybråten said. “Obesity is not only a problem for the individual but also for society.”
Give children fruit
The minister urges communities to inspire its inhabitants to physical activity, and particularly the children. New numbers indicate that there is a negative trend among children.
“The soda machines must be removed from the schools,” Høybråten said. “The school children must eat fruit, and there must be opportunities for physical activity during the school day.”
New class division
New research conducted by the University of Oslo indicates that children from families of lower social economic standing are two times more likely to become overweight than children from middle class families.
Obesity is clearly overrepresented in groups in society where individuals have low income and little education, according to the Directorate of Health and Social Affairs.