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Me? Not me! I’m not fat! March 12, 2008

Posted by grhomeboy in Health & Fitness.
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Drive to slim down expanding waistlines

More than half of Greek children are overweight, according to figures released yesterday by the Ministry of Health, which said it was launching a campaign to stem the growing number of fat youngsters in the country.

The Ministry’s statistics show that 54 percent of children between the ages of 6 and 11 are overweight, while the figure drops slightly to 40 percent for those between the ages of 12 and 17. The consumption of fast food has soared by almost 1,000 percent since 2000 as the vast majority of children do not eat dinner under the watchful eyes of their parents.

The Ministry will launch a marketing campaign, including television advertisements, that will also involve high-profile athletes visiting schools, to encourage youngsters to adopt a healthier lifestyle involving more exercise.

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Weight woes grow as local cuisine dumped November 14, 2007

Posted by grhomeboy in Food Greece, Health & Fitness.
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Weight problems among Greek children have spread beyond city limits and hit youngsters in regional areas where the Mediterranean cuisine is gradually being abandoned, according to research made public yesterday.

The survey conducted by the Aristides Daskalopoulos Institute found that one in two children between the ages of 7 and 12 in rural areas are overweight. One in 10 of these children eat takeaway food at least five times a week, which normally includes a souvlaki, while only half include fruit and vegetables in their daily diet.

According to the survey, just 10 percent of children include traditional Mediterranean cuisine in their diet, while the corresponding figure in Spain stands at 46 percent. The survey questioned 1,300 children from all over Greece.

Athenians becoming teletubbies > survey October 24, 2007

Posted by grhomeboy in Health & Fitness, Lifestyle, Media Radio TV.
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Nearly one in two Athenians spends five hours per day in front of the television while just over 55 percent of Athenians do not participate in any form of exercise, according to a survey made public yesterday.

The survey, conducted by the Hellenic Medical Association for Obesity and sports group Europe Corporate Games, showed that 46 percent of respondents admitted to watching at least five hours of television per day.

The survey sample was 403 white-collar workers, including 178 women, employed at different companies in Athens.

The majority, 55 percent, exercise less than 100 minutes per week and use their own means of transport to get around the city, even to cover short distances, according to the study.

Survey cites increasingly unhealthy Greek lifestyle October 18, 2007

Posted by grhomeboy in Health & Fitness, Lifestyle.
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21st century Greeks have adopted a lifestyle significantly less healthy than that of previous generations, according to the findings of a survey released on Thursday, with one result showing life expectancy plummeting from the 2nd highest in European Union, in 1991, to just 11th place in 2004.

According to its results, present-day Greeks are “committing a slow suicide” on a daily basis by eating too much, smoking incessantly, spending too much time in front of the television and completely ignoring the need to exercise or undergo regular medical exams.

The results of the survey were announced by Athens University professor of social and preventative medicine Ioannis Tountas and were based on an analysis of a number of European and Greek studies regarding lifestyle and habits.

They indicated that Greece currently holds one of the highest positions worldwide for rates of smoking, since 49.9 percent of men and 30.8 percent of women are smokers and the numbers are tending to increase.

About 60 percent of the population is overweight, with Greeks ranking as the most overweight and obese nationality in Europe after the British.

They also tend not to exercise, with one third of men and about half of women saying they do not do any exercise.

Most worrying is the evidence that Greeks have to a great extent abandoned their previously healthy Mediterranean diet, with current dietary trends diverging as much as 50 percent from the “Med diet” model, while they do not take precautionary action against disease, with 35 of Greek adults suffering from some chronic ailment.

Studies carried out by Dr. Tountas showed that the lower socio-economic classes tended to have more health problems, with a rate of 36.9 percent, compared to the higher classes (30.4 percent).

The inverse relationship between income and health also held true across regions, since areas with a low per capita GDP, like eastern Macedonia and Thrace, tended to have a higher mortality index and a higher rate of cardiovascular disease.

Law must “go easy” on drug users September 28, 2007

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The outgoing head of the Organization Against Drugs (OKANA) Constantinos Ballas said yesterday that the law should be changed so that drug users are not punished but instead given help.

Ballas decided to step down from OKANA after 15 months in charge, citing personal reasons, but left his position calling for a change in the law. “Drug users should not be punished, they should not be jailed,” said Ballas. “This does not mean we should decriminalize the use of drugs because this would be unacceptable and counterproductive, but we should be targeting the major drug pushers, not the small-time dealers.”

Ballas said that one of OKANA’s successes had been making the treatment of drug addicts part of the national health system so they are no longer dealt with in isolation. However, he admitted that more needed to be done to reduce waiting times for treatment for addicts.

There are some 4,000 people on OKANA’s waiting list and the average waiting time is four years.

Greek diet fuels heart problems September 27, 2007

Posted by grhomeboy in Health & Fitness, Lifestyle.
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Changing dietary habits have placed Greece in a higher risk group for heart disease while other Southern European countries have managed to retain healthier diets, according to medical experts.

Doctors said at a conference in Athens yesterday that people from Italy, France and Spain are not exposed to a higher risk of heart disease due to their changing lifestyles.

Greeks, who were ranked in the low-risk group for heart problems, have been upped to medium risk as they have turned their back on healthier living and the Mediterranean cuisine.

If there is no coordinated attempt by authorities to prevent heart disease, then in a few years there will be a need for more health centers for patients suffering from heart attacks, medical experts said.

According to official data, some 20,000 Greeks suffer a heart attack every year while nearly one in two smoke and 20 percent are overweight.

Warning over school snacks September 22, 2007

Posted by grhomeboy in Education, Health & Fitness.
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Doctors have warned parents to pay close attention to their children’s diets now that schools have started again and youngsters tend to increase their intake of snacks high in fat, salt and sugar content.

A recent survey of almost 1,200 schoolchildren aged between 4 and 7 in Hania, Crete, revealed that around 28 percent of the youngsters were overweight.

“Exercise and physical activity should come first and homework should follow,” Antonis Kafatos, a professor of nutrition at the medical school of the University of Crete, said yesterday. “Exercise and playing outdoors for at least two hours a day is very important for the good health of a child,” he added.

The tests in Hania revealed that almost 8 percent of the schoolchildren had high blood pressure. Two in 10 of the youngsters were found to be suffering from high blood sugar, obesity or high cholesterol. Much of this is brought about by unhealthy snacks. Kafatis recommended that children eat a full, healthy breakfast at home instead.