General Article Obesity is not inevitable: a personal view

Topic Selected: Fitness Book Volume: 384

By John Newton

Obesity is not inevitable for individuals or for countries, but neither is it easy to avoid or reverse it. The environment we all live in can often make it hard for all of us to consistently make healthy choices these days.

And that is why many of us today are carrying excess weight. Almost 7 out of 10 men, and 6 out of 10 women in England are overweight or living with obesity. Too many children are now obese before they reach school age and more become obese while they are at school – this is a tragedy – and the impact of obesity is even worse in disadvantaged groups and some ethnic minorities.

Obesity matters – it affects our health, our life chances and our self-esteem. It makes the work of the NHS and care services more difficult. It is a pressure on the economy.

Living with obesity increases the risk of type 2 diabetes, many cancers, cardiovascular diseases, liver disease and respiratory diseases, and has other effects for example on joint and back pain and on me...

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