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Monday, 10 July, 2000, 03:33 GMT 04:33 UK
Warning over UK obesity levels
Overweight family
The report says 50% of adults in the UK are overweight
A leaflet sent to MPs has warned that government targets to reduce cancer and heart disease will not be met without more effort to cut levels of obesity.

The document from the Medical Research Council's centre for nutrition says the problem of people who are overweight is putting a huge burden on the UK.


Obesity is a missing link in the chain of health problems

Dr Susan Jebb

It says half of all adults in the UK are overweight and one in five are obese, compared with one in ten French people.

People clinically defined as obese are twice as likely to die from heart disease and obese women are 27 times more at risk of developing diabetes.

Obese men are 33% more likely to die from cancer and obese women are 50% more at risk of dying from breast cancer.

'Enormous strain on resources'

Dr Susan Jebb, head of nutrition and health at the Medical Research Council, said: "There is a pressing need to recognise that obesity and overweight place an enormous strain on our health and on NHS resources.

"Obesity is a missing link in the chain of health problems such as type 2 diabetes, heart disease and cancer.

"As the number of obese people in the UK rises, it will become increasingly difficult to meet government targets for heart disease and cancer."

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See also:

22 Mar 00 | Health
Obesity clue to cancer rise
30 Jun 00 | Health
Hope for fat control drug
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