Turks 'spending $5 billion on weight-loss'

Major rise in obesity, especially among men, fuelling spending on diets, sports and dietician websites

Major rise in obesity, especially among men, fuelling spending on diets, sports and dietician websites

ANKARA - Turkish people are spending $5 billion a year on weight-loss programs as the country experiences a sharp rise in obesity.

Tayfun Sungun, head of a leading Turkish weight-loss Internet platform, said the figure was made up from people spending money on diet foods and sports.

Turkey has shown an increase in obesity in line with World Health Organization figures which have revealed that obesity worldwide has nearly doubled since 1980.

According to a Diabetes, Hypertension, Obesity and Endocrinologic Diseases report, Turkish obesity rose by 34 percent in women and a staggering 107 percent in men between 1998 and 2010.

Referring to the report, Sungun said around 20 million people in the country were obese.

"In Turkey, annually $5 billion is spent for losing weight in many ways, ranging from sport activities to healthy diet foods," he said.

Sungun has claimed that, when correlated, the current numbers of dieticians in Turkey for the population means that almost 100,000 patients fall to each dietician. This is leading to anticipated growth in the sector in forthcoming years.

"This figure is around 15-20 patient for each dietician in developed countries. In this sense there is a great need for dieticians," Sungun claims.

Turkey has seen a rise in awareness over the debilitating condition with recently established online initiatives bringing together patients and dieticians. Some sites also provide meals developed by dieticians to your door.

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