Half of Sweden’s population overweight or obese: study

51 percent of the Swedish population aged between 16 & 84 are either overweight or obese, according to a new Public Health Agency (Folkhälsomyndigheten) report containing figures for 2017.

Half of Sweden's population overweight or obese: study
File photo not related to the story. Photo: Fredrik Sandberg/TT

“When it comes to physical health, we can see several risk factors increasing, like obesity and being overweight, and more people are registering high blood pressure,” Fatima Azerkan, the lead researcher in the study said in a statement.

The agency's annual report also shows that there continues to be a significant difference in health between people with a higher education and those without one. It also highlights signs that poor mental health is on the rise in Sweden, especially among young people and those who have no more than an upper secondary school education.

“Good and equal health is a basic condition for a society's progress. Our report shows that there needs to be continued strong efforts made in public health in Sweden, and the work must be an important part of social planning,” Folkhälsomyndigheten director general Johan Carlson noted.

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Seen from a global perspective public health in Sweden is still good however. Mortality from heart disease and the four most common forms of cancer has reduced, with the exception of lung cancer among women.

The proportion of people in the country who drink a dangerous amount of alcohol and smoke daily has also decreased, the report shows.