The ratio of overweight Icelanders has increased from 8% in 1990 to 12% in 2002 reports Morgunbladid. The OECD nations with the lowest ratio of overweight people are Japan and Korea with 3%. The nation with the highest ratio of overweight people is the United States with 31%.
These results are found in latest edition of Health at a Glance, a biennial publication from the OECD which provides a wide range of comparative statistics concerning health status, risk factors and healthcare resources and use.
Health at a Glance warns that increasing obesity could counteract the positive trend of falling death rates due to heart disease and strokes over the past 40 years in most OECD countries. According to the report more than 50% of adults are now defined as either being overweight or obese in ten OECD countries: the United States, Mexico, the United Kingdom, Australia, the Slovak Republic, Greece, New Zealand, Hungary, Luxembourg and the Czech Republic. As obesity is a risk factor for hypertension, high cholesterol, diabetes, heart diseases, stroke, asthma, arthritis and some forms of cancer, the rise in obesity over the past two decades could mean higher healthcare costs in the future.