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International Healthcare News: Half of Europeans overweight

Many expatriate medical insurance policyholders may be struggling with their weight, as a new survey shows obesity rates in most European Union (EU) countries have more than doubled in the last 20 years.

According to a report by the European Commission and the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development, over half of adults living in the EU are now overweight or obese.

One in seven children are also classed as overweight, with just one in five taking regular exercise, the study showed.

The authors of the study said the trend will have significant implications for the cost of healthcare in the EU.

"Children who are obese or overweight are more likely to suffer from poor health later in life, with a greater risk of developing heart disease, diabetes, some forms of cancer, arthritis, asthma, a reduced quality of life and even premature death," the report stated.

The UK was found to have the highest rates of adult obesity, followed by Ireland.

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