Obesity Epidemic in Iceland
According to Tinna Laufey Ásgeirsdóttir, administrator of the postgraduate course of health economics at the University of Iceland, Iceland is suffering from an obesity epidemic and the situation is worst among children and teenagers.
Ásgeirsdóttir said if the situation does not improve and the average weight of Icelanders increases by an additional Body Mass Index (BMI) point, the healthcare system’s annual expenses will increase by ISK 2 billion (USD 32 million, EUR 21 million), Fréttabladid reports.
Ásgeirsdóttir recently published the book Holdafar (“Physique”), an economic analysis of Icelanders’ physique, where she concludes that the obesity epidemic is to blame on increased supply of food, lower food prices, easier access to fast food and lack of exercise.
“The modern consumer pattern has taken a risky route in terms of health,” Ásgeirsdóttir said, suggesting that to change the consumer pattern of the future, children and teenagers should have easier access to healthy food and facilities where they can exercise during school hours.
Ásgeirsdóttir also recommends limiting the marketing of fatty food and suggests that certain sugary products like sodas should be more expensive.