Home > Latest News > Environmental Health > Food > Latest News > Environmental Health > Public Health >

National Obesity Forum Calls for Urgent Action

January 12, 2015

Launching National Obesity Awareness Week Professor David Haslam chair of the National Obesity Forum has warned if left unchecked the problem has the potential to ‘break the NHS.’

 Introducing the forums latest State of the Nations Waistline Report, Professor Haslam says “We are consequently at a critical point. Figures from the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development suggest UK obesity levels are second to only Hungary within the EU5. And the public, based on polling, remains largely unaware of the crisis and the effect it is having on the public services, such as the NHS, we all reply upon.”

 The report notes that since 1993 obesity rates have increased from 16.4% to 25.1% in women and from 13.2% to 24.4% in men. Weight management is a significant issue amongst children with 33.5% of Year 6 pupils considered to be overweight or obese. The problem is estimated to cost the economy £44.7 billion annually second only to smoking, while an estimated five million people are expected to have diabetes in less than a decade.

 Subtitled turning obesity around the report calls for a cross party commitment after the general election in May to set targets for reducing obesity levels by 2020. Other recommendations include, additional training for GP’s and frontline health workers, further support for the Change4life programme and work to reduce the cost of healthy food products. 

You can download a copy of The State of the Nations Waistline 2015 here