19 December 2007

The Slenderness of Danish Cycling Women

Pink and Blue and Green (by [Zakkaliciousness])
On a global scale, obesity now causes more deaths than famine, but Danish women are keeping slim.

A recent study showed that only 9.1% of Danish women are obese. Only Italy (7.9%) and Austria (8.6%) have a better statistic. In comparison, the UK can't be proud about the fact that 23% of British women are obese - the country is at the bottom among EU nations.

The Danish Cyclist's Union [DCF] isn't in doubt for a moment:

"In Denmark we have a well-developed bike culture, and that is one of the reason's for the high ranking on the list", says Jens Loft Rasmussen from the DCF.

The statistics are no reason to lean back and take it easy. It appears that other countries are merely getting fatter quicker than the Danes. But cycling helps, by all accounts.
Via: Ekstra Bladet among others.

Here are some stats about the allround percentage of countries populations that are overweight (not specifically obese):
1. Nauru 94.5%
2. Mikronesien 91.1%
3. Cook Islands 90.9%
4. Tonga 90.8%
5. Niue 81.7%
6. Samoa 80.4%
7. Palau 78.4%
8. Kuwait 74.2%
9. USA 74.1%
10. Kiribati 73.6%

28. UK 63.8%
43. Germany 60.1%

The three least overweight countries Europe:
108. Denmark 45.8%
111. Italy 45.5%
128. France 40.1%

Via: Politiken and pdf document.


Anonymous said...

Those statistics don't look right. Only 7 percent of Italian women are obese but 45 percent of the entire population is? Or are you citing the stats for being overweight vs. obese? Only about a third of the US population is obese, whereas around 2/3 are overweight. So I think the latter is what you are citing there.

It's interesting that in Italy and Austria the number is so low. Italy, at least in the cities, doesn't have much of a biking culture. In fact, you would be nuts to ride your bike in Napoli or Rome.

Colville-Andersen said...

You're right... thanks for that. I made a small mistake in translating. The last stats are for overweight, not obese.

Italy... you'd be surprised. There are many cities and towns which have a blossoming bike culture... we have a post about it here.

I'm not saying that cycling makes the Italians rank well on the list, though.

Two Wheeler said...

Good Post Zak, thanks! I know commuting by bike sure helps me keep the pounds off.

Colville-Andersen said...

Thanks two wheeler!

Anonymous said...



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Anonymous said...

Zakk -- wouldn't hurt to cite your sources so people can check the information themselves. It's the minimum I'd expect from any reliable writing, and it's only fair to give your sources credit.

Colville-Andersen said...

anon: thanks for that comment. I added the sources, as requested.

ka_jun: sorry, but i don't think helmets are sexy. And even if i did, I wouldn't dream of imposing my opinions about helmet use on other people. It's a personal choice and i don't feel i have any right to tell other people what i think they should or should not do.

Anonymous said...

First time to your blog. I commute pretty regularly on a bike. Only in America do people stop in their SUV to ask you if you need a ride. I appreciate their willing kindness to strangers. I just have to laugh because they think I'm the one that needs help.

Ditto on your stand on helmets. People who obviously never ride a bike (topic of this post) are the first to tell me what's good for me. Go figure.

Colville-Andersen said...

that's funny. drivers stopping to ask if you need a lift.
i agree on the helmet issue.

Steve said...

Wow, the US is ranked only #9? From what I've seen the US should be in the top five!

Colville-Andersen said...

i know what you mean, although having travelled in the south pacific, i can see why they sit on the top spots. they are massive.