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Bulgaria among world leaders in obesity rates

Date: 24.10.2008

Bulgaria holds one of the top rankings in the world by the number of obese people, according to Professor Svetoslav Handzhiev, Chair of the Bulgarian Healthy Nutrition Association.

Handzhiev spoke at a special press conference where he explained that the main reasons for the widespread obesity in the country were genetics, and the unhealthy way of life including the over consumption of fats, sugar and salt, the lack of enough movement and exercise and stress.

Teodora Durlenska, a nutritionist with the Diogenes project stated that Bulgaria also ranks sixth in Europe by child obesity. 5% of all Bulgarian children, between the ages of 13 and 17 are overweight with 22% of them being obese. The reasons here are also lifestyle and lack of exercise.

Durlenska explained that physical education was not sufficient in school programs, there were not enough opportunities for children to practice sports and the food, offered in Bulgarian schools was not healthy and appropriate for young people.

Another reason is the fact that many expecting mothers in Bulgaria tend to become overweight, well above the recommended norm of 15 kg over the regular weight before the pregnancy.

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