A BIG PROBLEM: We hear your thoughts as England is now the second most obese nation in Europe
Hospital admissions linked to obesity in England topped one million for the first time in 2020, up 17 per cent on the year before and 600 per cent on a decade ago.
England is now the second most obese nation in Europe, only second to Malta. Statistics show that 27 per cent
of men and 29 per cent of women in England are obese, with the NHS predicting it will soon become the biggest cause of preventable death.
Obesity was a growing problem before the pandemic, but being overweight increases your risk of serious illness or even death if you contract coronavirus, raising even more concerns. Experts have said the latest data should serve as a ‘wake up call’ for tackling the problem.
A study involving nearly seven million people concluded that there was a significant connection between a person’s body mass index (BMI) and the severity of illness when diagnosed with coronavirus.
And it’s not just coronavirus that has people worried.
Naveed Sattar, professor of metabolic medicine, at the University of Glasgow, told the BBC that obesity is "the strongest risk factor for (Type 2) diabetes".
"It's a strong risk factor for heart disease, for heart failure, for lung disease, for kidney disease, for multiple other conditions," he says.
"If we now add to that obesity is a strong risk factor for this acute viral pandemic which is killing people worldwide, then... this is a wake-up call.
"Many health systems and government really do now need to pay attention to obesity.
"We do need to tackle obesity and we need to take it seriously."
So we took to the streets to ask you should obesity be a national priority, and is it down to the Government to take more drastic action? Or, is it down to the individual to make decisions about their own lifestyle, and change if they wish to?
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