According to a new report from health officials, Europe is the continent with the highest rates of smoking and drinking, and it does not stop there, more than 50% of the European population has weight problems, which puts them at great risk of heart disease.
The World Health Organization said in a report that even though countries in Europe have a reduced risk for premature death, smoking and alcohol consumption rates are higher than anywhere else in the world.
Claudia Stein, the World Health Organization’s main spokesman, declared that Europeans smoke and drink more than any other population. “We are world champions. And it’s no a good record,” says Stein. She added that this issue will affect the young population the most, since in the long run their lives may be shortened.
Unless actions are ordered to effect some change, nothing will reduce tobacco and alcohol consumption in Europe.
The report states that more than 50% of the European people are obese or at least overweight. While more than 30% consume tobacco. The report also said that the average European drinks up to 11 liters of alcohol (not alcoholic beverage) per year.
More alarmingly, the report found that the life expectancy across Europe is increasing at a pace faster than anywhere else on the planet. This means that the number of cardiovascular disease, diabetes, cancer and chronic respiratory-related deaths is increasing. The World Health Organization decided to take actions and reduce the premature mortality in Europe by at least 1.5% until the year 2020.
The vaccination rates are steady, the report showing great coverage. Measles immunization especially, has been rising from 93.4% in 2010 to 94.6% in 2012, and is still increasing. However, Stein warns than these small gaps in immunity should be covered. In 2015 alone there were reported four deaths from measles.
The previous health report for the European region dates back from 2012. Ever since then, great improvements have been seen in deaths caused by external factors, including homicides, suicides, and traffic accidents. So this is good news.
The regional director of The World Health Organization for Europe, Zsuzsanna Jakab, is proud of the improvements in the general health, but is concerned of the declining life expectancy. She adds that there is always the risk of losing these gains due to smoking and alcohol consumption. Jakab warns that the young people may not live nearly as long as their grandparents did.
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