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Majority of Britons obese by 2050

A government report claims that if the population continues to gain weight at the same rate, the majority of Britons will be obese by 2050.

By then scientists predict that 60% of men, 50% of women and a quarter of all children in the UK are likely to be clinically obese.

And as a result they would be in a weight category associated with serious health problems, such as type 2 diabetes and heart disease.

Only 10% of men and 15% of women were expected to have a "healthy" weight in relation to their height.

The consequent impact of chronic health problems on society would cost Britain more than £45bn a year, the report claims.

The predictions are contained in the latest report from the government's Foresight think-tank, which looks at future trends.

Almost 250 experts took part in the two-year investigation which culminated in the report Tackling Obesities: Future Choices.

The key conclusion was that human biology is simply out of step with modern life in the 21st century, with its labour-saving devices, motorised transport, sedentary work and cheap high-energy foods.

Weight gain was said to be a "default" condition that inevitably resulted from the environment and culture people lived in.

Sir David King, the government's chief scientific adviser and head of the Foresight programme, said: "Personal responsibility is important, but our study shows the problem is much more complicated.

"It is a wake-up call for the nation, showing that only change across many elements of our society will help us tackle obesity."


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