Report highlights the growing problem of obesity in the UK

January 13, 2014 1:54 pm

A major new report published today has highlighted that the UK faces dramatically exceeding a worst case scenario of more than half its population being obese by 2050 unless hard-hitting campaigns, similar to those for anti-smoking, are introduced.

The report has been produced by the National Obesity Forum, and has received coverage across the national press, including the Times, the Guardian, The Daily Mail, the Express, the Metro, BBC Breakfast, Sky News, Daybreak, BBC Radio 5 Live, the Today Programme and others.

The report, State of the Nation’s Waistline – Obesity in the UK: Analysis and Expectations, has warned that the UK is in danger of surpassing the predictions of the 2007 Foresight Report, following analysis of official figures and academic studies on obesity, weight management and lifestyle choices. The Foresight Report suggested that 50 per cent of the UK population could be obese by 2050 at an annual cost to the nation of nearly £50 billion pounds. Public Health England has also recently estimated that 60 per cent of men, 50 per cent of women and 25 per cent of children could be obese by 2050.

The National Obesity Forum’s report has been released to mark the launch of National Obesity Awareness Week (13-19 January 2014). The report’s other recommendations include a call for GPs and primary healthcare professionals to proactively discuss weight management with patients and routinely check waist circumferences as an indicator of abdominal obesity, along with a call for a greater attention on hydration and what people drink (in order to not offset healthy eating with unhealthy beverages) in healthy eating and lifestyle programmes that should themselves be better directed to towards individuals who are obese.

The report follows comments made by Health Secretary Jeremy Hunt that the UK is “failing to turn the tide” on obesity and needs to engage in “national soul searching” to address the public health problem.

Whitehouse has been working with the National Obesity Forum over the last year to plan and deliver National Obesity Awareness Week 2014. Our support for the week has encompassed media relations, political engagement, stakeholder relations, a national healthy eating competition for children in conjunction with Disney, and supporting local events all over the country. For more information, please see http://www.noaw2014.org.uk/

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