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Obesity Scales
Obesity

The Foresight Report looks at obesity factors and suggests government guidelines may have to change.

When it Comes to Obesity, Factors such as Exercise Hold the Key

By WLR's Site Manager, Laurence Beeken

Government policy think tank Foresight has published a report on the impact of obesity on the United Kingdom.

Secretary of State for Health Alan Johnson has said that the problem of obesity had gained in magnitude following the publication of the study (the Foresight Report), and said the problem was equal in scale to the challenge posed by climate change. If the trend continues half the population could be obese within 25 years. The government is reported to be drawing up an action plan to tackle obesity.

As well as identifying the health cost of the obesity epidemic, the report also calculated that the national cost, in terms of extra health care provision and lost work hours, could reach £45 billion.

Countries such as Denmark already recognize the impact that poor health can have on government finance and have introduced a 'fat tax' to divert money to where it is needed.

Commenting on the report the British Heart Foundation said: "This report does finally put to bed the idea that individual action alone is either responsible for the obesity crisis, or the only route out. It accurately paints a picture of a vast, societal problem, a symptom of the age, requiring a massive sustained effort to remedy."

Public Health Minister Dawn Primarolo has listed all the ways in which the government is already acting, saying: "The government has been doing a lot already in terms of healthy foods in schools, sports activity in schools, labelling of food, working with young people.”

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