The Academy of Medical Royal Colleges has launched a new campaign to tackle obesity, after warning that it is “a much bigger problem for the UK than HIV was”.
A quarter of women (24%) and over a fifth of men (22%) in the UK are now classed as obese, the highest rate of obesity in Europe. In addition, one in three of British children are overweight or obese by the age of nine.
Now, Professor Terence Stephenson, vice-president of the Academy of Medical Royal Colleges (AoMRC) has said that “bold and tough action” is needed to stop the obesity epidemic.
The AoMRC has launched a six-month project to look at the causes and effects of obesity.
The campaign will start by reviewing diets, exercise, minimum pricing, changing advertising and food labelling. It will publish a report in autumn recommending action to be taken.
Actions will include a ban on companies like Coca-Cola and McDonalds sponsoring major sporting events like the Olympics, banning fast food shops near schools, and stopping firms using celebrities or cartoon characters to promote unhealthy foods.
Obesity can cause a number of health problems, such as type 2 diabetes (a condition caused by too much glucose in the blood), and heart disease (when the heart’s blood supply is blocked).
Being overweight or obese can also shorten life expectancy. In obese adults over 40 years of age, obesity can shorten life expectancy by 6-7 years.
Professor Terence Stephenson: “Speaking with one voice we have a more of a chance of preventing generation after generation falling victim to obesity-related illnesses and death.”
Being overweight can also affect your private medical insurance premiums. However, some insurers will also reward their customers for living a healthy lifestyle, so compare health insurance quotes online now.
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