Bulgaria Ranks 5th in Europe in Childhood ObesityHealth | October 11, 2016, Tuesday // 11:54| views
Insufficient physical activity and eating habits that involve large amounts of "junk food" add to the problem. File photo, BGNES
Childhood obesity is still an issue of concern in Bulgaria, with the country keeping its fifth spot among European states according to that criteria.
The announcement was made by Svetoslav Handzhiev, who heads the Bulgarian Association for the Study of Obesity and Related Diseases (BASORD), on the occasion of World Obesity Day, according to the Bulgarian News Agency (BTA).
Obesity is on the rise among boys aged 5 or less, at 7.1% in 2014, compared to 3.3% in 2004, while a slight drop has been seen with girls (2.7% in 2014, down from 5.4% in 2004).
Children lack enough physical activity and rely on "junk food" for their daily diet, BASORD's survey shows.
Early alcohol consumption (sometimes among kids aged below 14) also contributes to the statistics.
Another study, carried out in October of last year (and confirmed by recent data), showed Bulgarian children rank first in Europe in terms of time spent at the computer or watching TV, with 25.7 hours a week, followed by those in Romania (22.7). By contrast, kids in the Netherlands or Belgium spend 14.5 and 15.5 hours engaged in such activities, respectively.
Earlier figures by the World Health Organization, prepared for the World Obesity Day, showed as many as 224 898 children in Bulgaria were "overweight", while 58 470 were "obese". The two groups make up 26.20% of all children in the country.
The WHO estimates their share will be 26.85%, or 235 459, in 2025.