Life’s too sweet for some Poles

Poland’s health ministry found that Poles consume 12 kg of processed sugar per year more than 10 years ago.

Moreover, the report showed that three in five adult Poles are overweight and every fourth Pole is obese.

According to the deputy head of the National Health Fund (NFZ) deputy head Adam Niedzielski who presented the report together with health minister Łukasz Szumowski, a reduction in the consumption of unprocessed sugar have been noted, however, it was revealed that Poles started eating more processed sugar that can be found in sweetened products and sweets.

“We consume three times more processed (on average 33.3 kg in 2017) than unprocessed sugar (on average 11.2 kg). In 2008, the ratio was 21.5 to 16.9 kg,” said Mr Niedzielski, adding that the total consumption of sugars in 2008 amounted to around 38.4 kg whereas in 2017 to 44.5 kg.

Mr Niedzielski also stressed that currently, around 30 percent of children at the age of eight drink fizzy drinks at least once a week and 67 percent of teenagers drink energy drinks.

“All of that has its consequence for obesity and health. The situation within our population is such that a total of 68 percent of men and 53 percent of women are overweight, whereas as many as 25 percent of men and 23 percent of women are obese,” stressed Mr Niedzielski.

According to experts, a total of 30 percent of Polish men and 26 percent of Polish women are expected to be obese in 2025. “The prognoses are terrifying,” said Mr Niedzielski, stressing that excessive body weight and obesity directly translate into the development of type 2 diabetes, cardiovascular and neoplasmatic diseases.

Mr Niedzielski also said that the 2017 cost of treating diabetes exceeds PLN 1.7 bln (EUR 391 mln), adding that in 2017 alone a total of 4,000 so-called large amputations was reported among people with diabetes.

According to estimates, PLN 0.3-1.0 bln (EUR 69-230 mln) more will be spent on the treatment of obesity-related diseases in 2025 than in 2017.