Almost half of all men in Britain will be clinically obese within 20 years. Health experts are predicting the number of obese Britons could swell to 26million by 2030.
The figure for overweight women will also rise from 26 per cent to as much as 43 per cent, while the overall obese population of the country will grow by 11million in 19 years.
If the predictions are correct, the NHS will face having to find an extra £2billion a year to stave off obesity-linked problems such as heart disease, diabetes and cancer.
Rising obesity rates are predicted to lead to an extra 668,000 cases of diabetes, 461,000 of heart disease and 130,000 of cancer by 2030. The figures, published in The Lancet, were produced by an international team that included leading British epidemiologist Prof Klim McPherson, of Oxford University.
He said he believed ministers appreciated the scale of the problem but argued that one of the obstacles in the way of confronting obesity was politicians’ fear of the ‘nanny state’.
‘They don’t want to be labelled with that insult, as they see it,’ he said.
Dr Mike Knapton, associate medical director at the British Heart Foundation, said: ‘These predicted figures for obesity and heart disease in the UK are deeply worrying and show how urgently action is needed.’
Written by Hayden Smith
Original article published in Metro: 25/08/2011