Balkan Health Statistics Intro

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Considering that I come from the Balkan region of Europe, I had Health Fitness Revolution– the movement I started in the US- do detailed research on the countries that are part of the Balkan peninsula.  We had a tough time finding statistics and facts on health and fitness within this region, which tells me how little emphasis is put on healthy lifestyle culturally.

Healthy body, healthy mind- therefore, I hope that with this research we can help this region, which already has so much rich history and culture, to improve their healthy lifestyle and create balance not only within themselves, but also their countries.  With this introductory research, Health Fitness Revolution is starting the “Balkan Project” which will aim at educating, empowering, and emphasizing healthy lifestyle in the Balkan region- with emphasis on ex-Yugoslavian countries.  Later this year, we will release the Part I research that will be detail on how to improve healthy lifestyle in Balkan countries through physical fitness, healthy nutrition, and social/mental balance.

According to the World Health Organization, all of the countries in the Balkan region have less than 5% below the minimum level of dietary energy consumption- meaning that less than 5% of the population’s food intake falls below the minimum level of dietary energy requirements, and who therefore are undernourished or food-deprived.  This means that Balkans have no need to worry about starving and wasting away- simply put, they are eating too much.

Another interesting fact is that most Balkan countries, excluding Greece, in terms of BMI, tend to fall in a very stable and comparable range of 23 to 24.9.  Research published in the Daily Mail Newspaper shows that the country with the highest BMI in both men and women is Greece with 28.0 and 27.0, respectively.  The countries with the lowest BMIs for men are Macedonia and Romania at 23.9.  The country with the lowest BMI for women is Romania at 24.2.  Among the countries in former Yugoslavia, Slovenia is the highest BMI, which weighs in at 26.5.

Food consumption refers to the amount of food available for human consumption as estimated by the FAO Food Balance Sheets.  According to the Food and Agriculture Organization of the UN, the average minimum daily energy requirement is about 1800 calories.  Within the Balkan region, Greece has the most calories available to them at 3700 and the countries with the least are Serbia and Montenegro with 2700 calories available daily. In the former Yugoslavian countries, Slovenia is the highest with 3200 calories and Bosnia is a close second with 3100 calories.

In 2007, Forbes published a list of the fattest countries- Greece came in as the fattest country in the Balkan region with 68.5% of its population either overweight or obese.  The slimmest countries in the region are Bosnia-Herzegovina with 53.8% and Macedonia with 47.2% of the population overweight or obese.  The fattest country from ex-Yugoslavia is Slovenia with 59.8% of the population overweight or obese .

According to the CroHort Study, which studied the incidence of obesity in Croatia over a 5 year study, the average annual rate of increase in the prevalence of obese adults between 2003 and 2008 was 10.60% for men and 11.08% for women. This analysis can be applied to all the former Yugoslavian countries because it showed that development of obesity in 5-year period in women is significantly positively associated with frequent consumption of “hidden” fats of animal origin and significantly negative with each higher education level.  The study concluded that obesity remains a serious health problem for the Balkan population; the alarming rates of excess body weight continue to increase and that preventive measures should urgently be undertaken.

Life Expectancy as calculated in the CIA Fact Book, gives the Greek (80 years) and the Albanians (78 years) the longest life expectancy.  The lowest life expectancy in the region is 74 years in Romania and Bulgaria.  The highest life expectancy among the ex-Yugoslavian countries is Slovenia (78 years), the lowest is Serbia (75 years).

Hygiene is an important part of health, we wrote an article about it here.  The countries with the best access to sanitation are Bulgaria and Slovenia with 100% of the population having access, the worst is Romania with only 72% of the population having access to sanitation.  Among the ex-Yugoslavian countries other than Slovenia, are Bosnia and Croatia with 99% population access to sanitation- the worst is Macedonia with 88%.

Medical doctors are part of a healthy lifestyle, which is why we included this statistic in our research.  The country with the most doctors is Greece, with 6 per 1000 population- the worst is Albania with 1.15 doctors per 1000 population.  Among the former Yugoslavian countries, Croatia is the best with 2.6 doctors per 1000, and the worst is Bosnia with only 1.42 doctors per 1000 population.

The human body is made 68% of water- which is the reason that drinking water is a key component of health (we wrote an article about it here).  According the the World Health Organization, most of the Balkan Peninsula has excellent access to drinking water, especially the countries from ex-Yugoslavia, with all of them having a range of 98-100% of the population having access to clean water.  The only two countries in the region that fall short are Romania, with only 84% of the population having access to clean water and Albania with 95%.

Please view the statistics below on each country:

Croatia: 

  • Life expectancy: 76- male 72 female 80.
  • Doctors per 1000 population: 2.6
  • Drinking water: 99%
  • Access to sanitation: 99%
  • Percentage of adult male population obese:  20%
  • Average BMI:  26.0- Male 26.6 Female 25.3
  • Calories Available Daily: 3000
  • Fattest Nations Ranking: 71
  • Percentage of Country Overweight and Obese:  53.9%

Bosnia-Herzegovina:

  • Life expectancy: 76- male 73 female 79.
  • Doctors per 1000 population: 1.42
  • Drinking water: 99%
  • Access to sanitation: 99%
  • Percentage of adult male population obese:  14%
  • Average BMI:  25.8- Male 25.8 Female 25.7
  • Calories Available Daily: 3100
  • Fattest Nations Ranking: 72
  • Percentage of Country Overweight and Obese:  53.8%

Serbia:  

  • Life expectancy: 75- male 72 female 78.
  • Doctors per 1000 population: 2
  • Drinking water: 99%
  • Access to sanitation: 92%
  • Percentage of adult male population obese: N/A
  • Average BMI:  25.9- Male 26.3 Female 25.4
  • Calories Available Daily: 2700
  • Fattest Nations Ranking: 65
  • Percentage of Country Overweight and Obese:  54.9%

Montenegro:

  • Life expectancy: N/A
  • Doctors per 1000 population: N/A
  • Drinking water: 98%
  • Access to sanitation: 90%
  • Percentage of adult male population obese:  N/A
  • Average BMI:  N/A
  • Calories Available Daily: 2700
  • Fattest Nations Ranking: 64
  • Percentage of Country Overweight and Obese:  54.9%

Slovenia:

  • Life expectancy: 78- male 74 female 82.
  • Doctors per 1000 population: 2.47
  • Drinking water: 99%
  • Access to sanitation: 100%
  • Percentage of adult male population obese:  14%
  • Average BMI:  26.5- Male 25.9 Female 27.1
  • Calories Available Daily: 3200
  • Fattest Nations Ranking: 45
  • Percentage of Country Overweight and Obese:  59.8%

Macedonia:

  • Life expectancy: 75.5- male 73 female 78.
  • Doctors per 1000 population: 2.55
  • Drinking water: 99%
  • Access to sanitation: 88%
  • Percentage of adult male population obese:  6%
  • Average BMI:  25.2- Male 23.9 Female 26.4
  • Calories Available Daily: 3000
  • Fattest Nations Ranking: 100
  • Percentage of Country Overweight and Obese:  47.2%

Albania:

  • Life expectancy: 78- male 75 female 81.
  • Doctors per 1000 population: 1.15
  • Drinking water: 95%
  • Access to sanitation: 94%
  • Percentage of adult male population obese:  19%
  • Average BMI:  25.9- Male 26.0 Female 25.8
  • Calories Available Daily: 2900
  • Fattest Nations Ranking: 67
  • Percentage of Country Overweight and Obese:  54.8%

Bulgaria:

  • Life expectancy: 74- male 70 female 78.
  • Doctors per 1000 population: 3.6
  • Drinking water: 100%
  • Access to sanitation: 100%
  • Percentage of adult male population obese:  17%
  • Average BMI:  25.7- Male 26.3 Female 25.0
  • Calories Available Daily: 2760
  • Fattest Nations Ranking: 69
  • Percentage of Country Overweight and Obese:  54.2%

Romania:

  • Life expectancy: 74- male 71 female 78.
  • Doctors per 1000 population: 1.92
  • Drinking water: 84%
  • Access to sanitation: 72%
  • Percentage of adult male population obese:  6%
  • Average BMI:  24.1- Male 23.9 Female 24.2
  • Calories Available Daily: 3500
  • Fattest Nations Ranking: 134
  • Percentage of Country Overweight and Obese:  39.1%

Greece:

  • Life expectancy: 80- male 77 female 83.
  • Doctors per 1000 population: 6
  • Drinking water: 100%
  • Access to sanitation: 98%
  • Percentage of adult male population obese:  30%
  • Average BMI:  27.5- Male 28.0 Female 27.0
  • Calories Available Daily: 3700
  • Fattest Nations Ranking: 16
  • Percentage of Country Overweight:  68.5%

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Before Samir Becic became an internationally recognized fitness expert, earning a spot in Men’s Journal’s “Top 100 Fitness Trainers in America” list, he began his life-long dedication to health and fitness in Europe as a distinguished Martial Arts expert. It was in the structured and flowing training of Martial Arts that provided the background for the ReSync Method. After relocating to the US with a dream, determination, and talent, he soon began his career as a Personal Trainer, developing new training techniques for his clients. While he was Fitness Director for Ballys, the largest fitness facility in the US, Samir earned countless awards and recognition for his training techniques and passion for fitness: “#1 Fitness Trainer in the World,” - 4 times “#1 Fitness Trainer in Texas,” - 22 times “#1 Fitness Trainer in Houston” - 29 times “Best of the Best Fitness Trainer,” - 2 times “Best Fitness Director,” - 2 times Samir is one of the most sought after trainers in the country and is known industry-wide as a powerful motivator and pioneer. His alternative training techniques have earned him a number of industry accolades and awards. Samir regularly speaks at corporate and non-profit events and has also been featured in countless publications and has appeared on many national and local television shows: -Deborah Duncan’s “Great Day Houston” -89.3 KSBJ Radio Station (weekly appearances) -Health and Fitness Sports Magazine (contributing writer) -More Magazine (contributing writer) -Men's Journal (National) -NBC’s Channel 2, “Behind the Headlines” -WB39 News -Fox 26 “Tips for Houston” -Radio 96.5, “The Roula and Ryan Show” -Sunny 99.1 with Dana Tyson -104.1 with Sam Malone His personal training clients include many high profile Texans, including NBA Legend Rudy Tomjanovich, TV Host Deborah Duncan, Lakewood's Victoria Osteen, TV Anchor Dominique Sachse, TV Host Kim Davis, TV Reporter Miya Shay, Radio DJ Sam Malone, Radio DJ Roula Christie, Radio DJ Dana Tyson, Radio DJ Coppelia Rivera, and Radio DJ Joey Kovacik, among others. Samir also acted as fitness consultant for Mayor Lee Brown’s fight against obesity in Houston with the Fitness Task Force Kick-Off program in 2002. Samir is the current leader of Mega-Church Lakewood's Health and Fitness Challenge. Founder of Health Fitness Revolution non-profit 501 (c)(3) and Health Fitness Revolution Magazine.

1 COMMENT

  1. 1st.Serbia and Montenegro as 1 country doesnt exist from 2006.
    You should update your map.
    2nd. Results for Serbia-“Percentage of Country Overweight and Obese: 54.9%” are not correct.So,you should do research again.

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