Austerity has led to Greeks gaining instead of shedding pounds, according to experts at the Hellenic Medical Association for Obesity (HMAO) who have warned of the health risks of an increase in the consumption of cheap fast food.

A study carried out by the HMAO on primary school children last year revealed that 40 percent were overweight compared to 30 percent in 2003. The increase is similar for adults who have changed their shopping habits to save money.

“One would expect that, due to the crisis, consumption would fall but the opposite is happening,” the general secretary of HMAO, Efthimios Kapantais told Kathimerini, noting that Greeks were buying “cheap, bad quality food with a high calorie count.”