Russians’ recipe for losing pounds: take a puff

As obesity-fighting tricks go, one is particularly popular in Russia. More often than anywhere in the world, Russians try to keep off unwanted calories by trading an extra snack for an extra cig, a recent poll revealed.

About 23% of men and 18% of women said they’ve tried to beat their appetite with a quick smoke. In addition to favoring the dubious trade-off, Russians more than anyone tend to blame weight problems on their genes, with 70% pointing their fingers at mom and dad.

The survey commissioned by Reader’s Digest looked at dietary habits and opinions of 16,000 people in 16 countries. According to its findings, Finland is the country with the most public awareness on the dangers of obesity, thanks at least partially to a decades-long health education program.

Favorite ways of losing weight vary greatly from country to country. In China, the prime choice is diet pills, while Mexicans are more likely to switch to more healthy foods.

If public disproval is what you need to flatten your midsection, Brazil is the place to live. Some 83% of Brazilians reported feeling that there was too much emphasis placed on weight.

In the United States 51% of women want to see their spouses get thinner, while 46% of Indian men admit they want the same from their wives – both are record high. In India, extra weight is also a career killer, with 67% of Indians voicing their concerns about it.

Hungary is the most obesity-tolerant country surveyed. Just 28% said there was too much emphasis on weight in Hungary, and only 11% of men and 14% of women want their mates to get a slimmer waistline.

The obesity epidemic has been caused by American fast food, according to the French. Filipinos on the other hand don’t go oversees to finger the biggest threat to their midsection; an overwhelming 95% admit that they simply enjoy good food and just can’t resist it.