Currently one in two adult Poles struggles with excessive body weight. Despite the growing scale of the phenomenon, only 39% of Polish people perceive the problem of overweight or obesity in their surroundings – we learn from the MultiSport Index 2019 survey.
–Based on the research conducted in Poland, 40% of people aged 25-29, 55% of people aged 35-39 and over 65% of people over 50 years of age are overweight or obese. Averaging, one in two Poles is struggling with the problem of overweight and one in four Poles is obese – says Dr Janusz Dobosz from the National Physical Activity Research Centre at the University of Physical Education in Warsaw.
The latest CBOS data show that over the past 5 years the percentage of Poles with excessive body weight has increased by 8%. Meanwhile, the MultiSport Index 2019 survey indicates that only 39% of the respondents, i.e. only two in five Poles, perceive the problem of overweight or obesity in their own surroundings.
–If such a ubiquitous phenomenon escapes our attention, it may mean that we do not identify excessive body weight with a serious threat to health or simply cannot correctly recognise overweight or obesity – comments Dr Janusz Dobosz.
Weight has an impact on your health
The impact of excessive body weight on health is clearly noticed by those struggling with extra kilograms. Only half of the respondents with obesity assess their health as good, while 16% clearly declare that their condition is bad. As many as 77% of Poles with normal body weight evaluate their well-being as good (CBOS 2019).
–Overweight and obesity significantly contribute to the development of other diseases of affluence: type 2 diabetes, hypertension and other cardiovascular diseases, such as atherosclerosis, stroke and myocardial infarction. Increased body weight also increases the likelihood of some cancers, such as colon cancer.It is worth noting that these are diseases that significantly affect the life expectancy of Poles – emphasises Dr Ernest Kuchar, sports medicine specialist from the Medical University of Warsaw.
The World Health Organisation reports that excessive body weight is responsible for nearly 3 million deaths worldwide during the year.
What is the cause of big weight?
–In addition to the complications of other diseases and genetic conditions, the main cause of overweight and obesity is supplying the body with too many calories in relation to the physical activity undertaken during the day.The best prevention method in this area is a balanced and healthy diet combined with a sufficiently high amount of physical activity – emphasises Dr Ernest Kuchar.
WHO considered 150 minutes of moderate physical exercise per week as the minimum physical activity that helps achieve significant health benefits. Such activity may include, for example, a quick walk or other endurance exercise with an intensity that causes a feeling of warmth and faster breathing.
–Data collected as part of the MultiSport Index 2019 survey shows that only 1/3 of physically active Poles over 15 years old, i.e. around 7 million people, can meet the basic recommendations regarding physical activity. What's more, nearly half of us spend over 5 hours each day sitting and 36% do not engage in any form of physical activity, including walking.Meanwhile, if one in two inactive people in Poland began to exercise, the number of overweight people would decrease by 190,000 and the number of people with obesity would drop by 634,000 – emphasizes Adam Radzki, Management Board Member at Benefit Systems, the company that created the MultiSport programme.
Seniors are the least physically active social group, which at the same time struggles with the problem of excessive body weight most. The level of physical activity among them is only 53%, while the average for all Poles over the age of 15 is 64%.