The UK Health & Social Care Information Centre has recently published a report updating the information provided by the 2007 Foresight report regarding the prevalence of obesity. As you may recall, Foresight predicted that by 2025, 47% of men and 36% of women (between 21 and 60 years old) will be obese. By 2050, it is estimated that 60% of males and 50% of females would be obese.
Recent data from the HSCIC report “Statistics on Obesity, Physical Activity and Diet-England 2014”, shows a marked increase in the proportion of adults that were obese between 1993 and 2012 from 13.2% to 24.4% among men and from 16.4% to 25.1% among women. This seems to be in line with the trajectory that the Foresight report predicted, however recent modelling suggests that the rates of obesity may be slightly higher at 2030 than previously predicted.
There was some good news from the HSCIC report, manifested as a slight decline in the number of obese children in reception class from 2011 to 2013. This is a promising trend which is underpinned by government funding of educational, lifestyle and dietary programs to warn the population of the dangers of obesity. These primary prevention programs are the way forward and more funding should be encouraged, as unfortunately once bad eating habits and lack of physical activity sets in, the only effective option left is surgical intervention.