Obesity almost doubles in 20 years – British Heart Foundation

Posted: November 17, 2019 at 1:49 pm

The number of people living in England with obesity has risen from 6.9 in 1997 to 13 million in 2017, according to analysis from Diabetes UK.

The data was taken from the Health Survey for England, which found that the majority of adults (64 per cent) in England were overweight or obese and one fifth of 10 to 11 year olds are living with obesity.

Obesity, which is classed as a body max index (BMI) or over 30, is a major risk factor for developing type 2 diabetes, an important driving factor for heart and circulatory diseases.

Commenting on the analysis, Chris Askew, Chief Executive at Diabetes UK, said:

Were facing an urgent public health problem. Tackling this requires ambitious and sustained action from national governments, across sectors and departments. Thats because, right now, its hard to be healthy.

In the lead up to the general election, we are calling on all political parties to create healthier environments and a comprehensive plan for tackling rising levels of obesity. Even small reductions in people with obesity at the population-level could lead to major reductions in the prevalence of heart and circulatory diseases.

Our calls include:

John Maingay, our Director of Policy and Influencing, said:

These figures are concerning, and bold action is needed if we are going to slash the number of people living with obesity. Creating a healthy environment where the healthy choice is the easy choice will be critical in achieving this.

We know that children living with obesity are more likely to become obese adults, putting them at increased risk of developing heart and circulatory diseases later in life. The relentless promotion of junk foods is a key factor in this worrying trend.

"This is why we are calling for Government action to curb the advertising and promotion of junk food, especially to children, and to take measures to reduce the sugar, salt and calorie content of our everyday foods. These important steps will ultimately help prevent people from developing heart and circulatory diseases, allowing them to live longer and healthier lives.

Read our three pledges here

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Obesity almost doubles in 20 years - British Heart Foundation

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