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Obesity Spreading to Europe

Fast-food restaurants and jumbo American-style portions have barreled across the Atlantic ocean to Europe and obesity is exploding just as it has in the United States. The rates of obesity for children in Britain have tripled in just 10 years. Nearly one in five of all 15-year-olds in Britain is obese. In one survey of parts of southern Italy, 36 percent of the 9-year-olds were obese or overweight. In Spain the figure for overweight or obese children and adolescents reaches 27 percent. Children, the report stated, are bombarded by images of Happy Meals, chocolate bars and sugary cereals. By contrast, children saw no commercials pitching the benefits of fruits and vegetables.

New York Times October 31, 2003

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