OBESITY is as big a threat as terrorism, England’s top doctor warns today, The Sun reports. Professor Dame Sally Davies says our bulging waistlines should be considered a “national risk” to health and the NHS. She wants ministers to add obesity to contingency plans for disasters, which include terror attacks.
Chief Medical Officer Dame Sally says: “I advocate recognising obesity at the level of a ‘national risk’.” She specifically focuses on women’s health, warning that heavyweight mums are damaging the health of their kids and grandchildren. She stresses that being too fat affects fertility, pregnancy risks, the menopause and chances of breast cancer.
Fat mums-to-be are at higher risk of miscarriage and premature birth. They are more likely to have tubby kids, who are then prone to heart disease and type 2 diabetes. Up to half of women in their childbearing years are overweight. Dame Sally warns: “Obesity can affect the outcomes of any pregnancies and the health of any future children women may have.
“This is a difficult message, as it risks burdening women with guilt, but I believe it can also empower women to take positive steps like eating more healthily and taking more exercise.” She says women should get NHS help to lose weight as soon as they start trying to conceive. Ahead of the report, Tory MP Philip Davies said: “It’s a bit over the top to put obesity in the same category as terror attacks.
“Obesity is a serious issue people can do something about, but disasters are not.” Fellow Conservative MP Alec Shelbrooke said: “Putting it at the level of ‘national risk’ takes responsibility away from people and says it’s a problem for the state.”
But Tam Fry of the National Obesity Forum said: “It is clearly a national risk. But ministers have ignored them before. How many more millions will become obese before a workable strategy to tackle obesity is produced?”