One in five teens fat, study says

One in five teenage boys in Athens is overweight, according to the results of a study which warned that obesity in youngsters was on the increase and could provoke health problems. A total of 19.2 percent of boys aged between 12 and 18 are overweight, while 4.4 percent are obese, according to a two-and-a-half-year study conducted on 2,153 adolescents in the Athens district of Vyronas by Athens University Professor Anargyros Mariolis. Girls were also tested, with 13.2 percent proving to be overweight and 1.7 percent obese. The study found that most adolescents opt for high-fat snacks and junk food, avoiding fruit and vegetables, and exercise an average of three hours per week, about the same time they spend in front of the computer. More than half of the youngsters claimed to eat junk food at least three times a week. «Youth obesity and unhealthy habits are both gaining ground,» said Mariolis. «This could provoke health problems in young Greeks,» he said. Mariolis proposed that local health centers run awareness programs offering advice on healthy living.

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