The obesity epidemic is a phenomenon that most of us are aware and we are fed horrifying predictions through the media. However, recently published number do paint a shocking picture … 25% of adults are obese in Britain — that is 12 million people — that number in the 1970’s was less than 3%. If the UK population carries on at its current rate, the proportion will grow to 1 in 3 people by 2030 and more than half by 2050. What is causing this belt-busting rise in obesity?
A new study from the Bulletin of the World Health Organisation has shown that the obesity rate has increased as food has become more easily available and calorific. The UK’s obesity epidemic is being rising by the sheer abundance of food, after researchers found that there are around 50% more calories available to each person than needed.
Every person in Britain has 3,428 calories available to them each day, 70% more than the amount needed by women, and 37% more than men’s recommended daily intake. This amount has risen by 212 calories since 1993.
The individual calorie counts of countries are worked out by monitoring food production, exports and imports.
They found that the increases were far in excess of what was required to explain the weight gain experienced by each country, suggesting that food waste had also increased substantially.
Researchers say the study shows that governments must implement policies to make food healthier. They’ve also called for a restriction of the marketing of unhealthy foods to children, front-of-pack supplementary nutrition labelling, food pricing strategies, and improving the nutritional quality of foods in schools and public sector settings.
Weight gain is a risk factor for many health problems, including diabetes, heart disease, high blood pressure, arthritis, stroke, stress, anxiety, depression and some cancers. Obesity and diabetes already costs the UK over £5billion every year which is likely to rise to £50 billion in the next 36 years.