The male population in the UK is heading for a very unhealthy future, with predictions stating that 50% of British men could be obese by 2040. The rise in obesity levels would also mean rises in the risk of obesity related illnesses such as heart disease, diabetes and cancer, costing the NHS 320 billion if the predictions are allowed to become a reality.
In the last decade, obesity in UK males aged between 18 and 40 has doubled, from 10% in 1993 to 20% today. And if this figure is allowed to continue rising in the way it is, the expected figures for 2030 are a staggering 40%, and a chilling 50% by 2040.
A researcher for the National Heart Forum, Tim Marsh, said that many of the afflictions suffered by British people are due to age and cannot be entirely prevented, but obesity is one that can and should be stopped in its tracks. Granted, the older generation can’t stop their age related afflictions, but they can prevent the predicted rise in obesity for 40 – 100 year old British males which is expected to rise to around 60% by 2040.
Experts have also stressed how the youngest generation could be the key to curbing obesity. They say if we encourage children to pick up healthy eating habits and instil an understanding of why a healthy lifestyle is so important from an early age, they will be able to influence our UK’s future health. They say the best way they can see to encourage this is through better food labelling and advertising, and healthier school meals. They emphasise the importance of the eating habits created in schools and the impact it will have on both the children’s futures and the family unit as a whole.
Experts have also emphasised the important role the youngest generation will play in our battle against obesity. Encouraging children to lead a healthy lifestyle and maintain a healthy diet will instil better habits for them in the future, and will also have an impact on the way their families live. The experts say the answer to this lies in better food labelling and healthier school meals, which will all come at a great cost to the education sector. But they point out that the investment will be a worthwhile one, as it will help to lower NHS costs and lead to healthier living for future generations.
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