Icelanders' Weight Problem Has Slowed To A Stop - The Reykjavik Grapevine

Icelanders’ Weight Problem Has Slowed To A Stop

Published January 20, 2014

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New data shows that overweight Icelanders are, in general, no longer increasing in number. Vísir reports that, according to data from the Icelandic Heart Association (IHA), the average BMI of adult Icelanders had increased from 1967 onwards until 2007. At that point, the average BMI arrived at a stand-still. Furthermore, the percentage of overweight children in Iceland has decreased by about 5% from 2008. As Stefán Hrafn Jónsson, a sociologist at the Directorate of Health, worded it, “Yes, Icelanders have stopped getting fatter. The percentage of Icelanders who struggle with being overweight has changed very little in the past year.” However, Stefán emphasises that people should not focus solely on appearances. Weight says very little about how much of it comes from fat or from muscle, for example, adding that IHA’s research has also shown that “it’s even better to be just over the upper limit [of one’s ideal weight] than to be below it, as far as life expectancy is concerned.” In closing, Stefán says that “what matters most is to be in shape, exercise regularly and eat nutritious food.”

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