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Italian children 'second-most obese' after US

Junk food taking over Mediterranean diet

17 July, 17:13
Italian children 'second-most obese' after US (ANSA) - Milan, July 17 - Second only to the United States, obesity in Italian children has reached epidemic proportions, the Barilla Center for Health and Nutrition said on Tuesday.

Speaking at a seminar organized in Milan by the Barilla Center, Professor of Endocrinology at the University of Naples Federico II, Gabriele Riccardi said that 31.6% of Italian children are overweight, following the United States where the average is 35.5%.

In OECD countries the overall average is 22.1%, with the United Kingdom at 24.7% and Brazil 22.1%, while China registers the lowest figures at 5.2% and Japan 15.3%.

"Lack of physical activity, which has almost completely disappeared as a requirement in schools, is a contributor, as is junk food, which is taking over the traditional Mediterranean diet," said Riccardi.