Last Tuesday I attended a debate on obesity in the UK entitled Fat Britain.
The debate was chaired by broadcaster Vivienne Parry and the expert panel included Susan Jebb from the Medical Research Council, Harald Schmidt from the Nuffield Council of Bioethics and Obesity counsellor Louise Diss.
The discussion was loosely based around the report from the government’s think-tank on obesity called Foresight.
Key Findings from the report were:
most adults in the UK are already overweight. Modern living ensures every generation is heavier than the last – `Passive Obesity’.
by 2050 60% of men and 40% of women could be clinically obese. Without action, obesity-related diseases will cost an extra £45.5 billion per year.
the obesity epidemic cannot be prevented by individual action alone and demands a societal approach.
tackling obesity requires far greater change than anything tried so far, and at multiple levels: personal, family, community and national.
preventing obesity is a societal challenge, similar to climate change. It requires partnership between government, science, business and civil society.