Urgent action needed as obesity levels could be 'far worse than predicted'

Anti-smoking style campaign urged to tackle obesity

A new report from the National Obesity Forum warns that obesity predictions may have drastically underestimated the issue, reports The Guardian.

Previous estimates, already shocking, are understating the ‘true scale of the problem’ – 2007’s Foresight report said half the UK’s population could be obese by 2050, while Public Health England said 60 per cent of men, half of women and 25 per cent of children could be obese by 2050.

National Obesity Forum chair David Haslam: "We’ve seen hard-hitting campaigns against smoking and it’s time to back up the work that’s already being done with a similar approach for obesity."

Newsdesks have been bulging with worrying statistics on obesity for some time, though whether all the headlines and fine words have materialised into effective action is another story, as Haslam argues in The Guardian report.

Back in 2003 BikeBiz reported on the words of the then Cycling Minister, warning of an obesity time-bomb. The aforementioned Foresight report of 2007 also plugged cycling as key weapon in the fight against obesity.

While the Coalition Government cancelled Cycling England, it has pledged some cash for cycling (though many have argued nowhere near enough) and commissioned the Get Britain Cycling report. Despite finding half a billion for ‘green transport‘, it swerved appointing a ‘Cycling Czar‘, as the report argued for and largely placed the responsibility for cycle infrastructure with cash-strapped local authorities.

Doubtless, however, a high profile anti-obesity campaign, featuring cycling as a measure to combat obesity, would be welcomed by the cycle trade.

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