Europe's Gluttony Olympics: Fattest, Laziest, Drunkest

Tyler Durden's picture

Forget Citius, Altius, Fortius ("Faster, Higher, Stronger"), the real Olympic challenge among Europe's nations is Pinguissimam, Ignavissumi, Bibe Maxime (Fattest, Laziest, Drunkest). As WaPo notes, there's nothing like tales of butter-eating, wine-guzzling, yet somehow-still thin Europeans to add to American angst over holiday calories and upcoming resolutions, but while overall, Europeans are fairly healthy, a recently-released report by the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (below) found that the prevalence of diseases such as diabetes and asthma has also increased — in part because of better diagnosis, but also thanks to underlying causes such as drinking, smoking and eating fattening foods. Here’s a look at which Europeans are most obese, most inactive and drink most (no, it's not the Brits):


Via The Washington Post:


Despite common perceptions that the French sip wine all day or that Scandinavians muddle through the long winters with the aid of aquavit, Luxembourg actually tops the list of Europe’s alcohol consumers, with nearly 15.3 liters bought per capita annually — a 12 percent increase since 1980. (The OECD points out, however, that foreigners actually purchase much of that because of Luxembourg’s lower-than-average alcohol taxes.) Not counting Luxembourg, Latvia and Romania top the charts of alcohol consumption among adults:

Screenshot: OECD


Meanwhile, the supposed dolce vita of the Italians has become more temperate. They’ve reduced their alcohol consumption by nearly 60 percent since 1980, to a modest 6.9 liters. 

And even though higher taxes and more rigid advertising laws have caused alcohol consumption in the E.U. to decline by 15 percent since 1980, the region still has the highest level of alcohol consumption in the world, and alcohol is the third leading risk factor for disease there, after tobacco and high blood pressure.

The problem is that as parts of Europe sober up, other countries have been drinking more — and new types — of alcohol:

There has been a degree of convergence in drinking habits across the European Union, with wine consumption increasing in many traditional beer-drinking countries and vice versa. 



The rate of obesity has doubled over the past 20 years in the E.U., to 17 percent, making it a “major public health concern,” the authors write. Hungarians are the most obese people in the E.U., at 28.5 percent, closely followed by Britain.

Hungary’s neighbors, the Romanians, are the most svelte:

Screenshot: OECD



The authors note the use of taxes on fat and sugar — such as those recently passed in Finland, France and Hungary — as potential solutions. However, one such measure in Denmark was recently repealed after it was found to have too detrimental of an impact on consumers and businesses.


Physical activity:

Overall, only one in five children in the E.U. member states say they exercise regularly. The study didn’t measure physical activity among adults, but if sedentary children become pudgy grown-ups, the Italians are in trouble. Just 7 percent of girls and 12 percent of boys there reported daily physical activity, while the Austrians were most active: 

Screenshot: OECD


Source: Washington Post

Health at a Glance Europe 2012

Comment viewing options

Select your preferred way to display the comments and click "Save settings" to activate your changes.
pirea's picture

It means you did not drink with a russian

TBT or not TBT's picture

Lived there for a while hanging out mostly with climbers.   They only half jokingly considered beer to be just a liquid form of bread, i.e. food.

SanOvaBeach's picture

Have one on me and fuck you.................................

nmewn's picture

Calling Heir Bloomberg, you're wanted back on the continent.

Yen Cross's picture

 I think I'm going to go drink a gallon of "embalming fluid", these markets are DEAD...

fonzannoon's picture

Dead and buried Yen. It's like trying to trade a snail fight. Everything has been pinned down to such a tiny trading range.

Yen Cross's picture

 The China HSBC services just game out worse then last months numbers, and the aud/GDP missed. The RBA lowered rates last night and the aud/usd goes bid. I didn't trade that head fake though.

The euro is up in the top of it's 4-5 month range on horseshit/

  The economic calendar looks pretty well loaded for the next 18 hours or so. I'll keep my powder dry for later.


fonzannoon's picture

I have no idea how you game it. The dollar weakens at the thought of spending cuts and tax hikes kicking in. If they agree to some BS deal and avoid spending cuts the dollar will strengthen when it should weaken. Gold has been weakening heading into QE4 even as the dollar weakens. The Euro is rising and periphery yields are dropping even as the eurozone implodes. I must think way too macro because I would not know which way to bet even if you gave me the answers to the test.

knukles's picture

At times the hardest and best trade is to sit nervous and flat.

IridiumRebel's picture

I don't trade anymore. I got some longs. It's just a lesson in futility at this point. I just collect PMs. I like holding my investment. I like being old school.

q99x2's picture

You ain't seen fat until you go shopping in the San Fernando Valley. Hungary has nothing on SFV.

formadesika3's picture

Any coincidink that most of the least obese countries are self-reported?

knukles's picture


Another Conspiracy Theory tin foil hat idea of yours.
BTW, always best to put a couple of knobs on the tin foil hat to adjust the resonance around the 0.2 to 5.5 MHt range.....

Uncle Remus's picture

There's an app for that...

formadesika3's picture

That would interfere with the reception channel on my Orgone Accumulator.

Parrotile's picture

Something of a Superman Creator! Even better than Energy Simulators - (I hear they turn your eyeballs into craters) . . . . . .

Definitely not a device for social integration though

the misanthrope's picture

The OECD ? The organisation of no tax is a bad tax unless it applies to us ? Fuck off.


The authors note the use of taxes on fat and sugar — such as those recently passed in Finland, France and Hungary — as potential solutions. 


Solutions ?

This is what the organisation is supposed to be :

The Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD, French: Organisation de coopération et de développement économiques, OCDE) is an international economic organisation of 34 countries founded in 1961 to stimulate economic progress and world trade. It is a forum of countries committed to democracy and the free-market economy,


Now that is a good joke !


Mr Lennon Hendrix's picture

Europeans live in the same la-la land Americans do:  they have the better currencies because they are backed by the strongest militaries.

Same as it ever was.

Stinko da Munk's picture

The highest likker consumption is Luxembourg at 15 liters a year? Come on, that's like 500 ounces, a shot and a half a day. You call that drinking? Fugg me ded, I call that lunch.

Parrotile's picture

If this is neat alcohol, then we're looking at 300ml per week, which really isn't a lot at all! A decent red contains about 15% alcohol, so that's the equivalent of about 2.8 700ml bottles per person per week.

Most colleagues get through two LARGE glasses EVERY End of Shift (just to "settle the nerves"!), so we're looking at 400ml per DAY = 2.4 litres per week (or 3 and 1/2 standard bottles) plus whatever we guzzle during our days off. Say the equivalent of 4 standard bottles per person, per week total, = 420mL total alcohol.

Welcome to the reality of front-line Australian Healthcare - the staff are all permanently sozzled (helps to reduce anxiety and stress levels - following OH&S Guidelines to promote a "Healthier sic. Working Environment" don't you know!)

andrewp111's picture

 A liter of wine has about 0.1 liters of alcohol, so 15 liters of alcohol corresponds to 150 liters (200 bottles) of wine a year, or 300 liters (600 pints) of beer a year.  You are right. That really isn't all that much. Especially since young children are allowed to drink alcohol in Europe, and a per-capita measure averages over both drinking adults and non-drinking persons.

Notice that the US and Russia were not listed on the charts.

Cosimo de Medici's picture

We begin well, sir.  I distrust a man that says "when".  If he's got to be careful not to drink too much, it's because he's not to be trusted when he does.   Kasper Gutman, The Maltese Falcon

Notarocketscientist's picture

But nobody can touch the fat fucking disgusting pig that is the average American

bunnyswanson's picture

You mean this girl?  Rollin' in the Deep


i went to several schools growing up and there were typically 1-2 poor fugly people in each grade.  Most of the kids were pretty, really.  I don't know what happened.  But it has more to do with what Americans are being provided to survive and grow than they as a people.  Consumerism, self absorption and dull educational system which does not inspire curiosity and passion has left them with broken spirits and a loss of identity. Americans forget who they are.  It's coming soo to a country you live it.  It's a protocol:  How to Take Over A Country Without Even Trying

Rick Blaine's picture

I noticed Bulgaria ranked near the top on the "obesity" test - that said, their ranking was based on "self-reported" data...

I spent some time there about seven years ago...and I distinctly remember thinking that, for the most part (well, at least compared to the U.S.), the people there seemed to be pretty trim...

...not like in an unhealthy way at all - it just seemed like they used a fair amount of common sense/moderation in their diet/lifestyle.

I also remember being very surprised at how attractive the women were there in general...not that I was really expecting otherwise...I was just surprised/impressed.

Fred C Dobbs's picture

I thought the same of Romania just north of Bulgaria about 6 years ago.  Really hot women on the beach of Constanta.  By the way you are looking good.  

Moe Howard's picture

I see Poland is sobering up. Back before the Russians went home drinking pure alcohol was a national sport. Vodka drinking a distant second.