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Obesity Death Rate Doubles In Less Than A Decade

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Obesity Death Rate Doubles In Less Than A Decade

Number of obesity related deaths rises sharply over last decade…

The number of middle-aged Britons dying as a result of obesity has doubled in less than a decade.

According to official figures more than 190 people under the age of 65 died as a direct result of their obesity last year – compared to just 88 in 2000. Deaths among those aged between 46 and 55 almost tripled.

An addition obesity was a contributing factor in a further 757 deaths last year – compared to just 358 in 2000.

The official figures were released by ministers amid growing concern that obesity will soon present a bigger threat to public health than smoking.

obesity related death rate doubles Obesity Death Rate Doubles In Less Than A Decade

Earlier this month, Andrew Lansley, the shadow health secretary, urged the Government to increase the amount of warnings on fatty and unhealthy foods, in an attempt to better control Britain’s obesity outbreak:

“Labour has neglected the UK’s obesity time-bomb and these figures demonstrate the awful consequences of their complacency…

“We urgently need action now, but unfortunately this Government’s record has been one of obesity targets missed and scrapped, budgets for information campaigns being raided, and dithering over food labelling. It is about time that the Labour Government woke up and started to take obesity seriously.”

The official figures showed that in 2000, only 25 people aged between 46 and 55 died “where obesity was the underlying cause of death”. But by 2005, this number had increased to 51, and last year rose to 70.

The “number of deaths where obesity was mentioned anywhere on the death certificate” rose from 121 in 2000 to 257 last year for the same age group. Similar increases were also recorded for those aged between 34 and 45 and 56-65.

The figures are particularly alarming as they show that hundreds of younger people are dying because of a poor diet and lack of exercise.

Previous research suggests that “severe obesity” reduces life expectancy by approx ten years. Therefore, most people dying today as a result of their weight could expect to have retired and be over 65.

Unfortunately the death toll is not expected to slow anytime soon. As the next generation of youngsters become adults, numbers are expected to increase sharply in the coming decades.

People who are overweight or obese face an increased risk of heart disease, diabetes, high blood pressure and osteo-arthritis. Obesity is also linked to several types of cancer.

Around half of British adults are overweight, and 17 per cent of men and 21 per cent of women are officially classed as obese. Britain has the highest obesity rates in Europe.


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