Obesity rates nearly double in the UK in 20 years

14 November 2017

Obesity rates have nearly doubled in the UK in the past 20 years with 63 per cent of the adult population now considered overweight, according to the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development.

According to the OECD report, 27 per cent of the UK's population is obese, while another 36 per cent is overweight, with the numbers ranking the UK as the heaviest country in Europe and the sixth-heaviest among the world's 35 wealthiest countries in the world.

Only Australia, Finland, New Zealand, the US and Mexico weigh more than the UK.

Japan, Korea, Switzerland, Italy and Norway, of the 35 nations have the lowest rates of overweight and obese people.

The UK's current obesity and overweight rates have increased sharply since the 1990's, when 14 per cent of the UK's adult population was obese. Today, a 14 per cent obesity rate rank among the bottom 10 of the 35 wealthiest nations. Austria and Denmark, at 30th and 29th have obesity rates of 14.7 per cent and 14.9 per cent, respectively.

Even with its weight problem, the UK's overall health indicators remain strong. Life expectancy is 81 years, which is slightly better than 80.6 years OECD average, which could be partly due to UK citizens drinking less than they used to, with average alcohol consumption down from 10.4 litres in 2000 to the current 9.5 litres, according to the OECD report.

The UK's current smoking rate at 16 per cent is also down as against the OECD average of 18.4 per cent.

According to the reports by OECD countries, in the recent decades, obesity has risen exponentially. Obesity has affected people of either gender, all ages, all ethnicities as also all education and income levels. In other words it has spared no one and affects different populations in varying degrees.

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