UK most obese country in Western Europe, says OECD report
Nearly 27% of adults in the United Kingdom are obese, according to statistics from the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD).
The OECD’s report ‘Health at a glance 2017’, published on 10 November 2017, presents up-to-date cross-country comparisons of the health status of populations and health system performance in OECD and partner countries.
Its comparison of its 35 member countries shows the UK to be the most obese country in Western Europe with only five other countries: Hungary, New Zealand, Australia, United States and Mexico, showing higher figures for obesity.
According to the report, the UK also saw a 92% increase in obesity in the past two decades, compared with 65% in the United States. However, it also acknowledges that England has been among the countries that has introduced food labelling measures such as nutrient lists, informative logos and traffic light schemes, and a tax on sugar-sweetened beverages, to try and slow the obesity epidemic.
“One could weep over the figures, the result of successive governments who have, for the last thirty years, done next to nothing to tackle obesity,” said Tam Fry, chair of the National Obesity Forum.
“Ten years ago, a government department report stated that the nation was sleepwalking into obesity — but no minister, either then or since, has woken up to the fact,” he added.
“We urgently need that ‘bold and brave’ game-changing obesity strategy that David Cameron promised to produce in the final months of his premiership.
“The blueprint — based on the 44 measures recommended by a McKinsey Global Institute report on obesity in 2014 — needs to be implemented forthwith.
“Without this kind of urgent action, the UK’s obesity epidemic will continue to escalate with the predictions that 50% of the UK will be obese by 2050 probably materialising,” he said.
As well as obesity, the report also compares rates of cancer, suicide, chronic depression, diabetes, healthy eating and smoking across the 35 member countries.
Citation: The Pharmaceutical Journal DOI: 10.1211/PJ.2017.20203931
Recommended from Pharmaceutical Press
Commonly known as the Orange Guide, this book is an essential reference for all involved in the manufacture or distribution of medicines in Europe.£82.00Buy now
Standards for unlicensed aseptic preparation in the UK, as well as practical information for implementing the standards.£46.00Buy now
This new edition of Dale and Appelbe's Pharmacy and Medicines Law is the definitive guide to law and ethics for pharmacy practice in the UK. It covers law and professional regulation and is firmly established as the definitive student textbook and reference work on this subject in the UK. Fully updated to include changes to pharmacy laws and regulation.£57.00Buy now