Men in the UK have the highest obesity rates in Europe

An obese man carrying glasses of beer

Rising obesity could stop heart health gains

Ed Simons / Alamy Stock Photo

Just when Europeans thought they’d licked heart disease, along come obesity and diabetes to ruin the party. An analysis of 56 countries across Europe, north Africa, and the Middle East suggests rising rates of obesity could halt the gains made by tackling heart disease in recent decades.

Between 1985 and 2014, available data shows that death rates from heart disease declined on average by more than 40 per cent across 38 countries. But data from 23 countries shows that, between 1995 and 2014, the prevalence of type-2 diabetes doubled, from 2 to 4 per cent on average. High-income countries have a higher average prevalence – 5 per cent.

Obesity has also edged up, affecting 23 per cent of people in high-income countries. The UK now has the highest obesity prevalence rate in men – 27 per cent