Home Lifestyle Obesity kills 31,000 people a year as millions of Brits are overweight

Obesity kills 31,000 people a year as millions of Brits are overweight

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The toll emerged in new research by the British Heart Foundation, which said the number of people who are obese has nearly doubled since the 1990s. It is now demanding the Government see through measures announced in its obesity strategy last year.

Experts said obesity’s causes are complex and “cannot be effectively addressed by focusing on individual willpower and exercise”. It wants ministers “to help make the healthy option the easy option”.

BHF chief executive Dr Charmaine Griffiths said: “We need to address the key factors that make an unhealthy environment.

“The Government must not waver in implementing the bold measures outlined, such as a 9pm TV watershed and clear restrictions on online junk food advertising.”

The study found around 85 deaths every day from heart and circulatory diseases are attributable to a body mass index (BMI) of 25 or more.

A healthy BMI range is usually between 18.5 and 24.9, a figure over 30 is considered obese.

Some 53 percent of all deaths from those illnesses can be traced to a high BMI.

Dr Griffiths warned that Britain is facing “two epidemics interacting at once” – with obesity being a major risk factor for becoming very ill with Covid. She said there has never been a better time to make lifestyle changes as people shift their habits as a result of the pandemic.

Research has shown that viewing one minute of unhealthy food advertising can lead to children consuming an additional 14.2 calories.

The charity added that lockdown had led to an increase in watching TV, where adverts are an “inescapable part of life”.

More than 15 million adults in the UK are obese while around 34 million are classed as overweight.



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