Greek Adolescents Eat Bad, But Say They Feel Healthy


(Photo by Eurokinissi staff, file)

ATHENS - Greek adolescents, who have the second-highest rate of obesity in the European Union as people have moved away from the Mediterranean Diet to fast foods and junk food, nevertheless say they are healthier than those in other countries.

That was the finding of a World Health Organization study entitled Health Behavior in School-Aged Children that included 45 countries in Europe and North America and found that 50 percent Greeks aged 11-15 rated their health as very good compared to an average of 37 percent, said Kathimerini.

But 25 percent of them were overweight (compared to a 21 percent average), only 31 percent regularly ate fruit (compared to a 40 percent average) and 85 percent of 15-year-olds said they had tried alcohol (compared to 59 percent) it added.

Only 15 percent of Greek children said they liked school, nearly half the 28 percent average. But 78 percent said they enjoyed strong support from their families, higher than the 72 percent average.

In December, 2019 a European Commission report rated Greece behind only Malta for childhood obesity, with boys more overweight, blamed on poor nutrition and little physical activity and turning away from traditional Greek foods and fruits and also vegetables.

Only 50 percent of Greek adolescents said they eat fruit daily and only 60 percent eat vegetables — one of the lowest rates in the European Union, with little more than 11 percent saying they perform some kind of moderate exercise every day.