A study recently published by Cancer Research UK and the UK Health Forum has predicted that there will be more than 700,000 more cases of cancer as a result of obesity in the UK over the next 20 years. If current trends are maintained, almost three quarters of UK adults will be overweight by 2035, with obese being the most common body type.
Other health problems associated with obesity include type 2 diabetes, coronary heart disease and strokes. By 2035, this will cost the NHS £2.5 billion more than what is currently spent on diseases of this kind.
Given the huge economic and social affect rising obesity levels would have on the UK, the Government has been urged to place a tax on soft drinks and ban pre-watershed advertisements for junk food in order to try to reduce the rising levels of obesity in children.
The link between smoking and cancer is now well established in the minds of people in the UK and the number of smokers has more than halved since 1974. In 2016, managing your weight is now the most important way of reducing your risk of cancer and other life-limiting illnesses. It is vital for public health that the Government supports people that are already overweight as well as preventing the next generation from adding to what may become a crisis for the NHS.
By Gemma Crompton, clinical negligence team