Obesity — a serious problem in Greece

As if our poor record in so many other areas was not bad enough, we now have the additional misfortune of being deemed European champions in obesity, with all the adverse consequences that this situation brings with it. But the problem is not as simple as it seems. This is probably because a solution depends on the will of each individual and cannot be imposed upon society. In any case, it is rather depressing to discover that «about four in five Greeks are considered to be obese,» according to official European Commission statistics which rank Greece atop the European Union obesity scales. And, as outlined in a recent Kathimerini report from Brussels, the real problem with obesity is not an aesthetic one – that overweight people do not look attractive – but that their excessive weight constitutes an extremely serious health risk. In Greece, we have gotten used to associating corpulence with good living – chiefly with hearty eating – overlooking the fact that there is another side to the coin, namely that many people have a serious problem with their metabolism and find it incredibly difficult to keep their weight at a normal level. Indeed, we should not underestimate the daily torment experienced by many obese people who try to improve their appearance and exaggerate their other qualities to detract from their problem. In general, our standard of living may well have improved over the years and science may have moved closer toward solving the mysteries of life but obesity is one problem that has remained unsolved and needs our urgent attention.

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