40 million UK adults could be obese by 2035, research warns
Figures released by the Obesity Health Alliance (OHA) reveal that 7.6 million new cases of obesity could be diagnosed in the next 20 years, if strong action is not taken.
The associated rise in illnesses linked to obesity could also see 670,000 new cases of cancer, 1.63 million news cases of heart diseases and 4.62 million new cases of type 2 diabetes by 2035.
By then, as many as 45% of Brits in the lowest income bracket could be obese.
The OHA also stated that if current trends continue, 76% of men and 69% of women could be either overweight or obese by 2035. This could lead to 38,500 new cases of cancer, 43,600 of stroke, 101,000 of heart disease and 257,200 of type 2 diabetes every year.
However, a statement from the OHA also said that as small a reduction as a 1% decrease in the number of people gaining weight each year could lead to 77,000 fewer cases of obesity between now and 2035.
The OHA, which formed last year to tackle obesity, includes the British Heart Foundation, Cancer Research UK, National Obesity Forum, the Royal College of Nursing, Royal College of Physicians and Royal College of General Practitioners, among others.
The OHA are calling on the government to create a powerful strategy for tackling childhood obesity, including bringing online marketing regulations in line with broadcast ones, reducing junk food TV adverts before 9pm and introducing targets for limiting the amount of fat and sugar in food.
Alison Cox, director of prevention at Cancer Research UK, said: “Without bold action, the next generation will face more disease and live shorter lives.
“Kids are bombarded with advertisements for unhealthy food and if we are to give our children the chance for better and healthier lives, it’s vital the Government’s childhood obesity strategy restricts this kind of marketing.”