The number of people in Switzerland suffering from obesity has doubled over 25 years, according to a recent study published by the Federal Statistical Office.
In 1992, 5% of Switzerland’s population was classified as obese. By 2017, the percentage had risen to 11%.
In recent years the rate has stabilised. Zoltan Pataky, an obesity specialist at Geneva’s HUG hospital, told RTS that the population is becoming more aware of the problem. He said his profession is seeing a growing number of people with a weight problem approaching them for help. He said there is a growing awareness of obesity and an understanding that excess weight is a real health issue.
However, the situation remains worrying. Almost half of Switzerland’s population is above what is considered a healthy weight – 42% of the population in 2017 was considered overweight or obese. This has consequences. The population will suffer sooner or later, warned the specialist.
Obesity and excess weight is more prevalent among men than women. In 2017, 51% of men in Switzerland were overweight (38.7%) or obese (12.3%). The same figures for women were 10.2% and 22.8%, a total of 33%.
The authors of the study point out how excess weight is becoming normalised. Between 2007 and 2017, the percentage of overweight people satisfied with their weight rose from 48% to 64% and from 27% to 35% among those suffering from obesity.
Obesity is a risk factor for high blood pressure (39% vs a 10% average), high cholesterol (22% vs 9%), diabetes (12% vs 2%), osteoarthritis and arthritis (25% vs 11%) and chronic bronchitis (7% vs 2%).
In addition, those with obesity have suffered disproportionately from Covid-19.