Experts at the World Health Organization claim the obesity crisis could hit “enormous proportions” within the next 15 years.
Ahead of their attendance at today’s European Congress on Obesity in Prague, the organisation compiled figures from 57 countries in the WHO European region, comparing recorded and projected figures for 2010 and 2030.
Their results predict that in 2030 the proportion of obese and overweight men in the Republic of Ireland will rise to 89 per cent, with 85 per cent of women also falling into that category.
In Britain 74 per cent of men and 64 per cent of women are predicted to be overweight or obese in 2030 - up from 70 per cent and 59 per cent respectively five years ago.
Dr Laura Webber, from the UK Health Forum in London, who co-led the research, said: “Our study presents a worrying picture of rising obesity across Europe. Policies to reverse this trend are urgently needed. Although there is no 'silver bullet' for tackling the epidemic, governments must do more to restrict unhealthy food marketing and make healthy food more affordable.”
If the predictions follow course, by 2030 Ireland will be the most obese country in Europe.