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UK fails to control obesity epidemic |
Sun Apr 15, 2012 10:40AM GMT
Britain’s coalition government has failed in attempts to tackle an obesity epidemic in the country, says the body which represents every doctor in the country.
The Academy of Medical Royal Colleges called on the government to take "bold and tough" measures to put an end to the role of "irresponsible marketing" by major food and drinks firms in fuelling the crisis.
The Academy demanded that the health secretary, Andrew Lansley ditch the government's "inherently flawed" approach, which trusts the industry to voluntarily cut calories, reduce portion sizes and advise the public on healthy eating.
The most recent studies show that 48 percent of men and 43 percent of women in the UK will be obese by 2030.
This trend will significantly increase the prevalence of strokes, heart disease and cancer, and lead to higher costs for the National Health Service (NHS), according to the results.
The academy's vice-president, Professor Terence Stephenson, said the government must take on the major brands such as McDonald's and Coca-Cola.
Stephenson said the academy was speaking out as it launched an investigation into what can be done to curb the rise in obesity.
It will spend six months researching the causes and effects of obesity, and in the autumn will produce a report that will contain far-reaching recommendations for action.
Charlie Powell, campaigns director of the Children’s Food Campaign, applauded the academy's intervention.
"Andrew Lansley should act on this excellent set of robust recommendations, but his track record suggests that he will once again ignore the advice of our best medical experts", he said.
Speaking to the Observer, Stephenson said urgent action, similar to that undertaken to reduce smoking over the past two decades, was necessary to deal with a society that he defined as "obesegenic" - an environment that positively encourages the gaining of weight.