Italians too sedentary: young people are at risk of obesity


They do little physical activity, eat little fruit and vegetables and 4 out of 10 are struggling with the scales, especially moving forward with age. So much so that, among the over 65s, weight problems affect almost 6 people out of 10. This is the photograph of the adult and elderly Italian population taken by the 2016-2019 Silver Steps and Steps surveillance systems, coordinated by the Istituto Superiore di Sanità (Iss) and aimed at monitoring and preventing i health risk factors.

As for the 18-69 age group, 40% are excess weight, of which 3 are overweight and one obese. Just one in 10 consumes the recommended amount of fruit and vegetables from the guidelines for proper nutrition, or 5 portions per day. Sedentary lifestyle is more frequent with advancing age, among women and among people with a more disadvantaged socio-economic status or with a low level of education.

In some southern regions the share of sedentaries abundantly exceeds 50% of the population (Basilicata and Campania). As for alcohol, among adults one in 6 makes it a risky consumption. Furthermore, the number of smokers is still high: one Italian out of 4, between 18 and 69 years old, does not give up cigarettes. Percentage decreasing to 10% among over 65s.