More than half of Israelis are overweight, a new OECD report shows – with Israel suffering from a situation that is common in Western countries. Of the Israelis who are overweight, 27% are at risk of or already suffering from a weight-related disease, such as Type II Diabetes. In addition, more than one of every three (35%) children in Israel are overweight or are likely to become overweight – a higher percentage than the OECD average.
The data is from an Organization of Economic Cooperation and Development report that discusses health and weight issues in countries that are part of the group. The 250-page report portrays the damage that overweight conditions cause, emphasizing damage to health and economies. Mexicans, according to the report, lose 4.2 years of their lives on average because of weight issues, while residents of the U.S. and Hungary lose 3.7 years on average. Residents of India and Japan are the least unhealthy, losing a year of life each.
Overweight issues also damage the economy: Israel loses 3% of its GDP annually because of weight-related issues (such as diseases related to overweight), costing the country NIS 39 billion a year.
Speaking to Yediot Acharonot, health expert Dr. Raz Hagoel said that “obesity and overweight are the greatest threats to the health of residents of Western countries. Proper policies to prevent these conditions and preventive medical intervention will prevent the growth of weight-related diseases. This report is more evidence that obesity is the most influential disease of the 21st century.”