IT'S official and startling – Ireland is just a short step away from becoming the "fat man of Europe", according to a new league table.
Ireland is second only to Britain when it comes to our level of obesity in the population, the UN Food and Agriculture Organisation has just revealed.
Europe's stark obesity league is as follows:
* UK: 24.9pc
* Ireland: 24.5pc
* Spain: 24.1pc
* Portugal: 21.6pc
* Germany: 21.3pc
* Belgium: 19.1pc
* Austria: 18.3pc
* Italy: 17.2pc
* Sweden: 16.6pc
* France: 15.6pc
It means that one in four of us is obese and we are now significantly ahead of countries such as France, Germany, Spain and Sweden.
A person is considered overweight if they have a body mass index (BMI) between 25 and 29, and obese with a BMI of 30 and above.
While adults and children in lower socio-economic groups are more likely to be obese than those who are wealthier, the reality is that it is seen across all social groups.
The report points out: "If prices rise, consumers tend to maintain their level of staple food consumption by switching to cheaper, less diverse and nutritionally inferior diets."