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German children not as fat as Italians

The Local · 14 Nov 2011, 11:25

Published: 14 Nov 2011 11:25 GMT+01:00

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About 16 percent of German kids between two and 10-years-old are overweight compared to 42 percent of Italian children, this week's edition of Focus magazine reported.

It cited previously unreleased information from IDEFICS, an in-progress study being led by researchers at the University of Bremen.

One of the study’s leader’s Wolfgang Ahrens told Focus that children northern European countries, including Germany, were eating more healthy food like fish with “good” fat than the Italians, although he said exercise and sleep were even more important factors in children’s health.

It’s not yet clear where German children stack up compared to other Europeans. The university told The Local on Monday that it couldn’t release more information because the study was continuing.

But the results may be surprising because previous research has concluded that German adults are Europe’s fattest. A 2007 study by the International Association for the Study of Obesity found that 58 percent of women and 75 percent of men were overweight. Fatty foods, a lack of exercise and excessive beer consumption were cites as reasons.

Those revelations prompted a government anti-obesity initiative called “Fit Instead of Fat” that aimed to promote exercise and healthy eating.

The German Statistics Office reported last year that Germans were continuing to get fatter, although it cited lower levels than the 2007 study, saying just 51 percent were overweight.

Story continues below…

Researchers said they hoped the results of the IDEFICS study would be used to improve nutritional and lifestyle guidelines in Europe in order to maximize health.

The Local/mdm

The Local (news@thelocal.de)

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Your comments about this article

19:18 November 14, 2011 by jmclewis
The USA is number 1 in fat children all of you Europeans are loosers!
20:42 November 14, 2011 by storymann
A true case of the pot calling the kettle black
08:55 November 15, 2011 by MaKo
Loosers? Well, certainly, their pants are looser...
09:24 November 15, 2011 by catjones
germans have a incessant need for comparing themselves to the rest of the world...favorably of course. My kids are fat, but not as fat as yours. Next article will be how a german discovered fat. Needy people.
00:29 November 16, 2011 by Redwing
@catjones. If you read the article properly you would have spotted the claim that "Germany may have the most overweight adults in Europe". That hardly proves "an incessant need for comparing themselves favourably to other people".

Actually the British are the fattest in Europe now with the Scots at the top of the league. Modesty has forbidden the Germans to make capital out of it.
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