(NaturalNews) An annual report by England's chief medical officer, Dame Sally Davies, highlights the fact that obesity rates are on the rise.
Obesity significantly increases the risk of developing a whole host of chronic diseases, including diabetes, high blood pressure, heart disease, stroke and cancer.
Despite the health implications, two-thirds of adults in the UK are now overweight or obese, and one-third of children. These numbers are approximately double those seen in the 1990s.
The cause of the crisis? Dame Sally claims that being overweight or obese is increasingly seen as the norm, and many people do not even recognize that they have a problem.
"One in two men and one in two women do not recognise they are overweight, and 77% of parents with overweight children do not recognise they are overweight." The chief medical officer also suggests that society as a whole has stopped associating being overweight with being unhealthy, with larger mannequins being introduced into shops and a general increase in the size of clothes.
Weight is often a difficult subject to broach due to obvious sensitivities and the fear of political correctness. There is also the concern with problems turning to the other end of the spectrum - eating disorders and being underweight.
Nevertheless, we are currently in an obesity crises. Whether we recognise it or not, the facts speak for themselves: two thirds of adults and one third of children obsess or overweight is a big problem.
It's a problem that causes millions of deaths every year, and costs the tax payers millions of pounds, yet it is almost entirely preventable.
A nation-wide sugar tax has been suggested, and is looking more and more likely to be introduced. If restrictions like these are to be avoided, it is down to each individual to make the decision to evaluate their realistic state of health and that of their children, and take action accordingly.
So how can we play our part and reduce our risk of being overweight or obese? • Eat a diet consisting mainly of whole, nutrient dense plant foods: fresh vegetables and fruits, legumes, whole-grains, nuts and seeds. • Limit the consumption of processed foods and animal products. • Take part in regular and varied exercise. • Control stress levels with regular meditation, yoga or other relaxation techniques.
Ultimately, only we are responsible for making the changes; ones that move us towards a healthier future.
Sources for this article include: Dame Sally Davies, Chief Medical Officer, 2014, Annual Report. www.gov.uk
About the author: Luke Jones is the creator of Health Room, a blog dedicated to investigating and sharing ideas in plant based nutrition, moving freely, living mindfully and existing sustainably.
Luke is a graduate of Imperial College London, a martial artist, and nutritionist.
He enjoys exploring natural movement and eating a whole-food, plant based diet. He also loves seeing other people chase their dreams, and realise their health potential.