The UK will have the highest proportion of obese females in Europe by 2025, a study published in the Lancet has found.
The study predicts that 38% of women will be obese in 10 years, the highest in Europe. This is followed by the Republic of Ireland, with 37% and Malta, with 34%. Currently, women in the UK have the third highest BMI in Europe and the 10th highest for men.
‘People who are overweight and obese suffer life-changing consequences and it costs the NHS more than £6 billion a year,’ said Jamie Blackshaw, National lead for Obesity and Healthy Weight at Public Health England. ‘The causes of obesity are complex and the environment we live in encourages poor diets and low levels of physical activity.’
The study, used data from studies on adults across 186 countries, found that the number of obese people worldwide has risen from 105 million in 1975 to 641 million in 2014. Global rates of obesity in women rose from 6.4 % in 1975 to 14.9% while among men went up from 3.2% in 1975 to 10.8%.
‘There is no single solution, we have to address the many factors that drive up obesity levels. We all – government, industry, local authorities and the public – have a role to play in that,’ added Mr Blackshaw. ‘That’s why we’re supporting the government to develop its childhood obesity strategy, we’re running the world’s first national diabetes prevention programme, and we’re currently piloting, with local councils and Leeds Beckett University, a whole systems approach to tackling obesity.’