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Swiss pile on the pounds

The Swiss became fatter between 1992 and 2007, with every second man classed as obese or overweight, a study has found.

The number of overweight men rose from 40.4 to 49.5 per cent within 15 years, while in women the figure went from 22.3 to 31.3 per cent. As in other countries, people from poor socio-economic backgrounds were most affected.

The study by the Vaud University hospital was based on a survey by the Federal Statistics Office. It found nearly ten per cent of men and nine per cent of women were obese.

While the rate of weight gain slowed between 2002 and 2007, those on a lower income continued to pile on the pounds.

Women showed the greatest range when it came to body mass index (BMI), going from very thin to obese. BMI is calculated from a person's weight and height to estimate a healthy body weight. A BMI of 18.5 to 25 may indicate optimal weight. Over 30 is considered obese.

The study authors say the link between obesity and poor education should be addressed by the relevant authorities.

swissinfo.ch and agencies


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