It is not a surprise that obesity is an issue in our current modern world, healthy food is too expensive, people prefer to eat out and sedentary life is promoted by technological commodities – and the UK has an important role in the world obesity rates.“The most obese nation in Western Europe” is suffering from a historically high rate of obesity since the 1990’s and it keeps increasing by 92%, in comparison to the US’s 65%, which is more popular for its obesity. This means the rates in the UK are rising faster than any other developed nation – it is namely the 6th heaviest nation in the world, as 63% adults in the UK are obese. The greatest threat though, is our generation, as “millennials” are and will grow to be the most overweight generation since records began. A recent study showed that 7 in every 10 people born between the early 1980’s and the mid-90’s will be too fat by the time they reach middle age. This alarms health institutions as obesity causes a higher risk of chronic illnesses; particularly hypertension, cholesterol, diabetes, cardiovascular diseases, and increases the probability of getting multiple types of cancer.
Diabetes UK has stated that diabetes diagnosis has more than doubled in the UK in only twenty years – this including both types of diabetes. However, it is diabetes type 2 that can be avoided in 60% of the cases as it is mainly caused by obesity or overweight. Currently, there are about 3.1 million citizens suffering from this disease, probably 1 million undiagnosed and most importantly 12.3 million at risk due to heavy overweight, as the study reports. This terrible disease, known by many, leads in bad cases to blindness, strokes, cardiovascular disease, kidney failure and amputations. Diabetes UK calls for greater efforts to lower the risk of diabetes type 2, as it is effectively avoided with a healthy lifestyle. Happily, Hampshire was placed low in the prevalence of diabetes as surveyed by the Scottish Diabetes Survey.
Cancer Research UK stated that being fat as an adult is linked to 13 different types of cancer, including breast, bowel and kidney. Spokeswoman, Prof Linda Bauld said that even though millennials are interested in healthy food and fitness trends, this does not really reflect in the survey results and claims that nothing beats a balanced diet, which should include plenty of fruit, vegetables and other fibre filled foods such as whole grains. Moreover, it is essential to cut down on junk food, as it has high levels of salt, sugar, and saturated fat. Obesity is as relevant a factor to getting cancer as smoking, as Bauld added: “the damage can build up over time and increase the risk of cancer in the same way that damage from smoking causes cancer.” Sadly this is not only a problem in the UK, as The World Cancer Research Fund stated that the number of adults and children at risk of Cancer has risen sharply since 1975 because they’re obese. Kate Allen, the fund’s science and public affairs director said “Given the global burden of cancer linked to weight, plus declining smoking rates, at least in the developed world (being) overweight and obesity could overtake smoking as the main preventable risk for cancer within our lifetimes. That’s why it’s so important to step up global efforts now.”
The most alarming thing is that only 15% of the UK population is aware of the consequences of being obese, and organisations such as the Cancer Research UK highlights the importance of associating obesity to cancer in the same way that cigarettes are linked to it. They are currently working on shocking advertisements to make people much more aware of this. Other nationwide actions had been taken, such as the OECD’s (Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development) organized campaigns to fight obesity which lead to the impending government sugar tax to begin in April 2018 – a legislation for a tax on sugar sweetened drinks (except fruit juice and milk drinks), and Public Health England’s work with major food manufacturers to try and get them to reformulate their products to make them healthier by reducing their sugar content. Not only nationwide but also solutions in small communities had taken place across the country: healthier takeaway’s offer in some high streets, school policies concerning packed lunches and school meals and vegetable vouchers for low-income families. If you want any more information on how to improve your health or prevent diabetes or cancer visit