Updated: Jul 25, 2021
Controversial, I know. There have been quite a few articles and research studies recently that have made the assertion that obesity is the new smoking - in which they mean it is causing more cancers, more related diseases such as cardiovascular disease and it is a rising "epidemic" which will have a detrimental impact on people's health, the economy and the NHS.
So what are the two most recent studies on overweight complications and what does the top brass of NHS England, Simon Steven's, think about it?
A controversial ad campaign by Cancer Research UK
Research by the European Health Journal has found that women with increased 'belly fat' were more at risk of stroke or heart disease. This is more prominent in women who are post-menopausal.
The research followed 2,600 women with excess 'belly fat'. It is already well known by the nutritional, sport and scientific community that excess 'belly fat' increases the fat stored around abdominal organs, known as visceral fat, which in turn increases the risk of metabolic problems such as Type 2 diabetes mellitus and cardiovascular disease. In short, it can have a detrimental affect on your entire body - if it affects the heart, circulatory system and the kidneys, you will be in trouble.
1 in 4 deaths in the UK is caused by heart & circulatory diseases. Quite a shocking figure considering there were 533,253 deaths in 2017 (Home Officer Official Statistics; 2018 statistics are not yet available). An unhealthy diet and a lack of exercise in middle age can increase this visceral fat. That is around 125,000 heart & circulatory disease related deaths.
The study looked at those within a healthy BMI range (18-24.9). Even for women with a healthy body weight or BMI, there was still a high risk of cardiovascular diseases if they had excess fat around the abdomen but appeared slim elsewhere on the body.
It comes as concerns have been raised by the Obesity Health Alliance over the government's lack of action to tackle obesity from a young age to prevent adulthood obesity. A year after endorsing a range of new measures to reduce childhood obesity, the government has yet to action any of them. With childhood obesity at an all time high and one of the highest rates in Europe, it is claimed that we are fast catching up the USA for obesity as a nation.
study by Cancer Research UK has found that obesity now causes more cases of four common cancers in the UK than smoking – bowel, kidney, ovarian & liver cancers are more likely to have been caused by excessive weight rather than smoking. Smoking is still the number one cause of cancer, with obesity now officially ranked as second. Their research has found that overweight or obese related causes of cancer hit 22,800 people in 2018.
With a warning by the Head of NHS England, Simon Stevens, that obesity is the 'new smoking', figures show that obesity is the 2nd biggest cause of cancer after smoking.
With 29% of adults in the UK officially obese, Mr. Stevens warns that by 2030 there could be 100 newly obesity-related cancer diagnoses per day.
Mr. Stevens added: “The NHS can’t win the ‘battle of the bulge’ on its own. Families, food businesses and government all need to play their part if we’re to avoid copying America’s damaging and costly obesity epidemic.”
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Thanks for reading,
The Slim Transformation Team