Obesity is the worst epidemic to affect the UK for 100 years and the only solution is for people to eat less, a former surgeon has said.
Conservative peer Lord McColl of Dulwich said politicians refused to admit that the cause of obesity was over-eating and claimed ministers were "misleading" people by suggesting it could be tackled through exercise.
His comments came during a debate in the House of Lords on non-communicable diseases, on 6 October 2011.
Lord McColl said: "It's killing millions, it's costing billions and the cure is free - eat less."
He went on: "What a strange world it is. Half the world is dying of starvation, the other half is gorging itself to death."
Crossbench peer and former NHS chief executive Lord Crisp, who called the debate, warned of a worldwide "epidemic" of non-communicable diseases, such as diabetes, cancer and mental health problems.
He said the epidemic of what tended to be called "preventable diseases" was linked to diet, smoking, alcohol, lack of exercise, stress and social pressures.
Lord Crisp told peers it was a "growing problem" that "we are ill-equipped to deal with", calling for a a "massive focus on prevention" from politicians.