Over the past two decades, we have all become fatter. In 1994 in Denmark, 7% of women and 8% of men were classed as obese. In 2013, that rose to 14% for both sexes. This is according to a study carried out by the National Institute for Public Health.
The study concluded that those most affected fell in the 25-44 age bracket, although this group were not the only ones affected. For both men and women, smokers gained less weight overall than non-smokers, and there were differences - lifestyle and environmental - which played a role in when men and women gained weight.
Men gain more weight when they live alone
According to the study, men who live alone gain more weight overall than those who live with a partner. In addition, men who self-assess their general health as ‘poor’ tended to gain more weight than those who saw themselves as being in generally ‘good’ health.
Unsurprisingly, men who lead largely sedentary lifestyles gain more weight than those with active hobbies. This difference was - surprisingly - less apparent in women.
Fatigue and stress are windows to weight gain
The findings showed that women who regularly feel stressed, who are plagued by fatigue, gain more weight on average, as well.
For both men and women, fatigue and stress are often the trigger which sets off unwanted weight gain. Both fatigue and stress reduce the enthusiasm to cook healthy food at home, with people opting instead, for unhealthy takeaway food or ready-prepared meals - both usually high in fat and sugar.
Even if takeaway food is healthy, stress and fatigue often cause people to eat more than they really need, leading to weight gain.
Shedding fat in the future
The results of the study show that the Danish population has been gaining weight over the past 20 years, with little success in the way of keeping fat at bay.
The good news, is that with this new information, we have the knowledge and tools to do something about our hefty waistlines, and make the next 20 years the healthiest possible.