April 13. 2024. 5:16

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Croats are ‘the fattest nation’ in EU, health officials warn

Croats are the most overweight nation in the European Union, and the annual cost of treating related health conditions amounts to almost 3% of the GDP, an official of the national institute of public health (HZJZ) said on Wednesday.

“About 35% of children and 65% of adults in Croatia are overweight. Children hold the high fifth place in Europe, while adults hold the top spot, both men and women,” said Sanja Musić Milanović, the head of HZJZ’s health promotion department, who spoke at a health conference in Zagreb

She said that around 2.7% of Croatia’s GDP was spent on treating illnesses related to overweight and obesity in 2019.

“That is €1.7 billion. If we continue this way, by 2060, we will be spending 3.5% of the GDP, or €5.8 billion, on something that can be prevented,” she warned.

Croatia’s Health Ministry started drafting an action plan to tackle obesity last year, and the ministry’s Ivana Portolan Pajić said the plan was still being fine-tuned and should be adopted before the summer.