In Spain nearly two children out of every ten are obese which is nearly double the number compared to 20 years ago. This places Spain in third place after the US and the United Kingdom in terms of child obesity according to the International Association for Obesity.
According to declarations made to the Cadena Ser by Javier Arceta, one of the authors of a study on Food and Health in Spain which has just been published by ‘La Caixa’ Foundation, an overweight child is likely to be an over weight adult. Arceta says that nearly 15% of overweight children can be considered to be obese, but what is most worrying is that around 40% of these will be obese adults.
The abuse of sugary products such as fizzy drinks and lots of time in front of the television or computer are only some of the factors that have seen the number of obese children shoot up in recent years. However, the problem is also considered to be related to family habits.
According to the Caixa study 90% of the Spanish population eat what they like and hardly a third buy the products that they need without being influenced by advertising.
Cecilia Díaz, from the University of Oviedo, the coordinator of the study on Food and Health in Spain, says that the basic ingredients for a healthy diet are not usually advertised daily. She said that given that ‘our tastes and likes are influenced by advertising it is easy to imagine which road we are going down’.
According to the latest statistics six Spaniards out of every ten plan their meals but around 33% work away from home and recognise that their eating habits are much worse.