Help for smokers and the overweight

26th November 2003, Comments 0 comments

26 November 2003, MADRID - Spain's health minister announced Wednesday new measures to help tackle obesity and encourage smokers who want to give up.

26 November 2003

MADRID - Spain's health minister announced Wednesday new measures to help tackle obesity and encourage smokers who want to give up.

Ana Pastor, minister of Health and Consumption, said the new schemes will help the detection and treatment of the addiction to nicotine and offer new guidance to those who are overweight.

Pastor said the struggle against smoking and obesity among Spain's population are two of the country's biggest health problems.

She said the new national prevention and control programme against smoking will "match personal assessment with individual needs, level of addiction and basic treatment".

These include both psychological advice and medication.

At the same time, a new scheme is being launched to help those struggling with obesity.

It includes help on diets, exercise, eating habits, medication and surgery.

The programme will also promote physical fitness, especially among children and adolescents, and offer help to tackle anorexia and bulimia.

A Europe-wide survey recently found that more people are falling ill through their couch potato lifestyle than through smoking.

Figures compiled by the Swedish Institute for Public Health and revealed by the European Society of Cardiology in September, brought a call for governments to encourage people to take more exercise.

The study suggested that smoking can be blamed for 9 percent of all chronic diseases in the European Union.

As well as lung cancer, long-term smoking also causes or contributes to heart disease and other serious lung problems such as chronic obstructive pulmonary disease.

However, a combination of sedentary lifestyles and fat-laden diets mean that obesity is an increasing problem for Europe.

Despite the popularity of smoking in Spain, the study suggested smoking rates have been falling generally in many European countries.

The research suggested that 9.7 percent of chronic disease could be blamed on lifestyle factors such as diet and exercise.

[Copyright EFE with Expatica]

Subject: Spanish news

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