As part of the BBC-wide event Your NHS, Real Story investigates the growing obesity epidemic - and its human cost.
Four out of 10 adults in the UK are overweight, and obesity-related illness now kills 30,000 people every year.
The government has made tackling obesity one of its key health targets but some claim this is costing the country billions while having little effect.
We meet the overweight children who could die before their parents and follow the remarkable journey of a 25 stone woman as she sacrifices half her stomach in a bid to shed the pounds.
We also hear from victims of an NHS system that refused them life saving operations simply because of where they live, forcing them to pay thousands of pounds for operations abroad.
Real Story: BBC One, Wednesday 31 March 2004, 1930 BST and live on the Real Story website.