27 Percent of Icelanders Are Obese

Vala Hafstað

Overeaters Anonymous (OA) has been operating in Iceland for 40 years, Morgunblaðið reports. At a meeting February 19, held on the occasion, the importance of addressing all the factors that cause food addiction was emphasized.

According to OA, the number of obesity-related operations has dramatically increased in Iceland, showing that many people are fighting this problem and seeking solutions.

“Of course there isn’t always a direct connection between obesity and food addiction, but nonetheless, it is a fact that we, Icelanders, are the fattest of all OECD nations, according to a report published in December of 2020,” a statement from OA reads. “It notes that 27 percent of Icelanders are battling obesity.”

OA is an organization of people with a common experience who support one another in hopes of changing their unhealthy relationship with food and body image. Their work is based on a 12-step system, similar to the one used by Alcoholics Anonymous.

At the turn of the century, awareness of the 12 steps and OA’s traditions increased, changing much for the organization and its members. Not only did the members succeed in losing more weight, but focused, too, on their psychological health and feelings, which play an important part in food addiction. People were encouraged to use writing, the making of food plans and meditation to stay away from foods that created addiction.

“We know from experience that if you solely focus on losing weight, the result won’t last long,” OA’s statement reads.  “It is essential to tackle all the factors that cause food addiction, sine it is a physical, psychological and emotional disease.”

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