36.1% of Cyprus’ population is overweight and 27.8% obese, said today Health Minister Christos Patsalides, talking about a new epidemic of obesity.

  Speaking on the occasion of tomorrow’s Pancyprian Food Day, Mr Patsalides said that proper nutrition is one of the most key factors in maintaining health and preventing disease and added that modern lifestyles and wrong eating habits because of consumerism and affluence have led to an increase in diseases related to diet.

 He also mentioned that according to the World Health Organization about 60% of deaths due to diseases of civilization, heart disease, cancer, hypertension, diabetes and obesity.

 Eating correctly he pointed out,  can help preserve health and prevent disease, particularly in preventing obesity.

 Childhood obesity, said Minister of Health, increasing the geometric pace and added that “nearly 50% of children are obese and are tomorrow’s adults.  As regards to the problem of eating disorders, anorexia nervosa and bulimia nervosa, Mr Patsalides said it was alarming data released by research done by the child health program in 2002 showing a high rate of about 26 % of girls and 13% of the boys are high risk to develop symptoms of anorexia nervosa.

 He also mentioned that the figures showed that the potential rates of anorexia nervosa cases is 0.78% to 0.14% of girls and boys, numbers, reaching levels of countries  such as Greece and Israel and other Western countries.

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