24.4% of women in the country are considered obese, according to the Demographic and Health Survey of INSTAT, of 2018, for the age group 15-59 years.
This indicator is measured by the Body Mass Index (BMI), which expresses the ratio of weight in kg to height in square meters (kg / m2). Level over 30 is considered obese, 25-29.9 overweight, from 18.5-24.9 is normal and under 18.4 underweight.
According to other Eurostat data, Albania ranks third in Europe for the high level of female obesity, after Ireland (28.1% of the population) and Malta (24.5). Turkey is behind us (23.1%).
From the countries of the region, the data are only for Serbia, where the percentage of women considered obese is 11.8%.
Romanians (8.3%) and Italians (11.4%) have the lowest levels of obesity in Europe among women.
The European Union average is 14.1%.
Less obese men in Albania, unlike in Europe
According to Eurostat, in all EU Member States, a higher proportion of men than women were overweight in 2019, with the largest differences recorded in Luxembourg (59% of men versus 38% of women), Czech Republic (70% vs 51%) and Cyprus (59% vs. 41%).
In Albania, obesity in men is lower than in women. According to INSTAT 18.1% of men had a BMI above 30, ranking 13th. The highest obesity in Europe in men is in Malta (29.7%), Ireland (24.5%), Hungary (23.7%).
The European Union average is 15.5%.
As with women, the lowest obesity rates are in Romania (9.9%) and Italy (11.6%).
The most “elegant” and the “healthiest” cities
According to INSTAT, the Albanian cities where women have the highest BMI level are Elbasan (20.5%), Berat (20.3%), while the lowest is in Kukës (12.2%)
For men, the record is held by Berat (20.8%), followed by Fier with 17.5% and Durrës (17.2%).
Men start gaining weight after the age of 50, where the level of obesity reaches 31.5% for the age group 50-59 years, from 13.4% for 15-49 years. Even for women obesity jumps after this age, reaching 45.6% for the age group 50-59 years, from 16.4% for 15-49 years.
INSTAT data show a link between education level and obesity. The lower the level of education, the higher the tendency to be healthier, for both men and women.
Uncontrolled diet and lack of physical activity are rapidly leading Albanians to obesity. This situation becomes the cause, among other things, of exposure to deadly diseases.