Greece has Second-Highest Childhood Obesity Rate in the World

Greece has Second-Highest Childhood Obesity Rate in the World

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Medical experts have suggested the introduction of cooking classes at school in order to better address childhood obesity, which is assuming disturbing proportions in the last years around the world.

According to the recent findings of the University Mental Health Research Institute (UMHRI), Greece has the second-highest rate in childhood obesity internationally after the USA.

More specifically, 21.9 percent of teenagers in Greece (pupils in the sixth grade, the classes of Junior High School and first grade of High School) were heavier than normal, while 16.3 percent of the problem concerns girls.

Obese children feel unhealthy, unattractive and are generally less satisfied with their lives than other children. Girls facing obesity problems claim being less easily accepted by their surrounding environment and more exposed to school bullying.

According to experts, childhood obesity rates have tripled in the past three decades. The main cause of the problem is found in unhealthy eating habits, disruptive meals, fast food and a modern way of life that has pulled the parents away from the family table.

The Hellenic Food Authority, EFET, has issued a series of dietary recommendations, including a full breakfast meal at home, the consumption of raw fruits, whole meal bread, low fat dairy products and large amounts of water.

Researchers from the University of Colorado, US, have developed a cooking program for primary school pupils called “Cooking with children”. From its experimental implementation, the experts concluded that this type of class course can have several positive effects. The young pupils have the unique opportunity to learn all the secrets of a healthy diet and discover the dietary treasures each cuisine around the world holds.

  • Jkrasopoulos

    Being a retired Registered Dietitian and having lived in Greece for the past eight years I feel qualified to comment. Greek children suffer from inadequate exercise and regular consumption of fast foods. It shocks me to see the endless delivery of fast foods at 3 in the afternoon. Obviously many mothers aren’t cooking! Schools should offer health programs that include exercise and proper nutrition focusing on healthy food choices and simple food preparation.