Being obese increases the risk of serious health conditions such as Type 2 diabetes, cardiovascular disease and common cancers; these conditions in turn are associated with an increased risk of developing mental health problems, such as depression. As well as being personally devastating for all those involved, they also place a huge financial burden on the NHS and society.
We live in an environment where everyday processed food and drink is packed full of added sugar, salt and saturated fats, which makes it extremely difficult for the public to make the right choices when it comes to diet and to eat healthy foods. This is why we need the Government to publish and implement an effective Childhood Obesity Strategy as soon as possible.
This must include challenging targets, that are backed by regulation, for the food and drinks industry to make their products healthier by reducing the sugar, salt and saturated fat content, as well as restrictions on the marketing of unhealthy products.
The launch of today’s Living Longer, Living Well report from the Richmond Group shows that this is the right approach as it would dramatically improve people’s lives and lead to fewer disabilities and early deaths.