Obesity Time Bomb
Britain is facing a national obesity problem that is considered by some ministers to be a greater threat to human life than global
I found the following story about the National Obesity problem on the front page of AOL and as the theme is close to my heart I thought it deserved a place on this website.
Trans-fats or hydrogenated oils have now been officially recognized as harmful and ministers are asking for control over the food manufacturers who still insist on including it in their packaged foods.
You can read more about hydrogenated oils
Ministers in obesity fight back
Ministers are drawing up plans for a concerted fight-back against obesity as they acknowledge there is a looming public health crisis to rival that of climate change.
Health Secretary Alan Johnson said efforts to promote exercise and healthy eating had to go "further and faster" in response to the stark findings of a new Government study.
The Foresight research, commissioned in 2005 to help ministers understand the scale of the problem, warned half the population will be obese within 25 years if current trends continue.
Some 86% of men are expected to be overweight within 15 years and 70% of women within 20 years, Professor Klim McPherson of Oxford University and Tim Marsh of the National Heart Foundation predict.
Mr Johnson said the Government could not afford to allow the problem to deepen and is set to ask the Food Standards Agency to probe the use of unhealthy "trans-fats" in fast food.
"For the first time, we are clear about the magnitude of the problem - we are facing a potential crisis on the scale of climate change, and it is in everybody's interest to turn things round," he said.
But Mr Johnson insisted that individuals had to shoulder some of the responsibility too as part of a "cultural and societal shift".
"There is no single solution to tackle obesity and it cannot be tackled by Government action alone," he said.
"We will only succeed if the problem is recognised, owned and addressed at every level and every part of society. We have made progress with improved physical activity levels at school, healthier school food for children, clearer food labelling and tougher restrictions on advertising foods high in fat and sugar to children - but we know that we need to go further and faster."
Extra cash set aside in Tuesday's Comprehensive Spending Review will be used to fund a long-term obesity action plan, which has the personal backing of Prime Minister Gordon Brown.
The Food Standards Agency gives practical advice about Obesity on their website
Eat well, be well. When someone is obese, it means they have put on weight to the point that it could seriously endanger their health. This is caused by a combination of eating too many calories and not doing enough physical activity.
For more information about Obesity
Body Mass Index (BMI) Calculator
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BMI provides a reliable indicator of body fatness for most people and is used to screen for weight categories that may lead to health problems.
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