Study: fat Finns tip the scales into obesity

Researchers are calling for a range of actions to help people battle the bulge.

File picture obesity, someone standing on scales / Credit: iStock

A new report from the National Institute for Health and Wellness THL highlights the extent of Finland’s battle against obesity.

The latest THL figures show that it’s becoming increasingly common to be overweight, especially in the working age population.

Some 72% of men and 63% of women aged 30+ are overweight; while 26% of men and 28% of women in that same age range are considered medically obese.

Only a quarter of over-30s are in the recommended normal weight range.

“In order to prevent obesity, there is a need for extensive and targeted cooperation between different actors in society. No single measure will stop the obesity of the population” says THL Senior Researcher Annamari Lundqvist.

“Political decisions are needed, for example, fiscal measures can guide people towards a healthier diet. Nutrition guidance, exercise-enhancing community planning, and healthcare activities such as weight management support and guidance are also key tools” she says.

Obesity also common in children 

Obesity is also common in children in Finland with 25% of young people overweight, THL says.

In 2018, 27% of boys and 18% of girls aged 2-16 were at least overweight, 8% of them were obese and 4% of girls were obese.

However, THL’s research finds no significant change in the prevalence of overweight and obesity in children and adolescents in recent years.