The largest ever UK study into obesity, compiled by 250 experts, said excess weight as now the norm in our "obesogenic" society.
Those of SDS delegates who attended our "Food Abuse: from Addiction to Obesity" will notice that lots of the statements in the report are very much in line with our own conclusions on the day. For the first time there is an acknowledgement from both the specialists and the government that encouraging the individual to choose a healthier lifestyle, simply isn't enough. Obesity, the authors concluded, is an inevitable consequence of a society of cheap, readily available and energy-dense foods, motorised transport, labour-saving devices, and inactive lifestyles.
The report forecast for 2050 is pretty gloomy. If current trends continue:
- 60% of men, 50% of women, and 26% of children and young people will be obese
- Cases of type 2 diabetes will rise by 70%
- Cases of stroke will rise by 30%
- Cases of coronary heart disease will rise by 20%
Though it is very encouraging that the overall attitude towards the problem seems to start changing and the report recognises that the trivialising the issue by 'eat less exercise more' educational approach is not the strongest strategy, most questions remain open:
What can be done to change the tendency?
Is obesity the fault of the individual?
Should more support for obese people be provided by the NHS?
Should changes be made at home or would government action make a real difference?
Looking forward to your replies