Among the 19 Member States for which data were available, the proportion of obese people in the adult population varied between 8.0% and 23.9% for women and between 7.6% and 24.7% for men in 2008/9.
Maltese women are the second most obese in Europe with 21.1%, following the United Kingdom with 23.9%. This pattern was reversed when it comes to men as the largest proportion of obese men were Maltese with a proportion of 24.7%, the United Kingdom came second with 22.1%.
For both women and men aged 18 years and over, the lowest shares of obesity in 2008/9 were observed in Romania with 8.0% for women and 7.6% for men, Italy with 9.3% and 11.3%, Bulgaria with 11.3% and 11.6% and France with 12.7% and 11.7%.
Eurostat commented that no systematic relation could be identified between sex and obesity. However Obesity was found to be affected by age. For women there is a clear pattern in all the Member States, the older they become the higher is the incidence of obesity.
The largest differences between the youngest and oldest age groups of women were observed in Latvia, Slovakia, the Czech Republic and Estonia.
The largest differences between age groups for men were found in the United Kingdom, Hungary, Malta and Greece. Eurostat added that for the age group 25-44 in Malta and 45-64 in the United Kingdom, the percentage of obese men is particularly significant.
A relationship between the educational level and obesity was also found. For women, the pattern is again clear: the proportion of women who are obese falls as the educational level rises in all Member States.
The largest differences in obesity between women with a low educational level and those with a high educational level were observed in Slovakia, Malta, Poland and Greece.
For men, in eleven of the available Member States, the highest share of obesity was observed for those with a low educational level, in five Member States for those with a medium educational level while in Bulgaria and Estonia it was for those with a high educational level.