Although over half the UK population are now either overweight or obese, many are unaware of the health problems it causes. This report sets out clearly the serious health consequences of excess body weight, citing the latest international research evidence to support its assertions. Not only does excess weight lead to a wide range of debilitating illnesses, such as cardiovascular disease, type 2 diabetes, stroke, cancer and osteoarthritis, it also substantially reduces life expectancy.
The report (published in 2004) examines the complex social causes of the obesity 'epidemic' and recommends a range of public health measures, at national and local level, that are needed to address it. These include a sustained public education campaign to raise awareness of the importance of physical activity and healthy eating; the setting of new standards in food labelling and food marketing to encourage consumption of healthier foods; and the promotion of healthy eating and increased physical activity in public institutions such as schools and hospitals.
The widespread nature of this major public health issue demands an effective and comprehensive response across many different fronts. The report is therefore addressed to government, local authorities, health professionals in all disciplines, educators, food manufacturers, retailers and the general public.
The report is available to download as a pdf.