Obesity should be treated as a “national priority”, chief medical officer warns.
Dame Sally Davies said women should be “empowered” to live healthier lives in her annual report, as she spoke of the risk to future generations. She called for government to include obesity in its national risk planning – putting it the same category as terrorism, flooding and major outbreaks of disease.
Her report said over half of women aged 34 to 44 and almost two-thirds of women aged 45 to 54 were classified as overweight or obese in 2013.
- 54% of women aged 34 to 44 classed as overweight or obese in 2013
- 62% of women aged 45 to 54 were classified as overweight or obese in 2013
“Action is required across all of society to prevent obesity and its associated problems from shortening women’s lives and affecting their quality of life.”We need to address the educational and environmental factors that cause obesity and empower women and their families to live healthier lives.”
said Dame Sally Davies.
She added that she wanted to “bust the myth” that women should eat for two during pregnancy.
Research has shown that overweight pregnant women are more at risk of miscarrying and premature birth. Expectant mothers, she said, should focus on a healthy diet, exercise, not smoking and avoiding alcohol.
“It is never too late to take action for a healthier lifestyle – for you and your family.”
Figures from Public Health England show how obesity in men compares to women.
- 62.1% of adults were classed as overweight or obese in 2013
- 67.1% of men were overweight or obese in 2013
- 57.2% of women were overweight or obese in 2013.