In the UK and like many countries around the world there is an ongoing rise in diabetes and obesity rates. Diabetes has risen by approximately 60% in the last 10 years and obesity stats indicate over 64% of adults are overweight or obese. Having worked in the health industry for several years there seems to be several common themes I have noticed...
The soft drinks giant has seen a growing movement around the world against consumption of sugary beverages and is now recruiting prominent scientists as part of its fight back. Their message is that obesity is not caused by the foods or drinks we are consuming, it is caused by our failure to balance those foods with exercise. This is a transparent attempt to confuse people about the real drivers of the obesity epidemic.
After waging war on doctors and nurses over their working hours, it seems that Health Secretary Jeremy Hunt has now turned his attention towards public health services designed to prevent weight-related health problems.
Now I am all for changing up the imagery we see in the sport and fitness world and having positive role models when it comes to physical activity at every size for a change, but the fact she is a professional model somehow deters from the power of this statement.
As a public health professional I need to help change people's attitudes to sugar. Because if as a country we don't address our love of sweet food and drink, obesity levels will keep rising and the human and financial cost of ill health will also keep rising.
The UK is shockingly behind other developed countries in terms of children's health outcomes, with five more children dying per day than in Sweden. So many health issues facing our children are preventable - yet the Government has just cut £200 million from public health spending and with it many of the resources we need to educate children about their health.
Have we been asking the right questions about protecting our health? Are more doctors and nurses the answer, or extra NHS funding? The election debates barely touched on health issues, particularly inequality and healthy lifestyles.
I often maintain, that the greatest long-term threat to our National Health Service comes not from the usual range of suspects people would immediately think of, but from diabetes and obesity...
A bit of a statement to be sure but I for one am beginning to wonder this very thing. I am sick and tired of picking up the newspapers only to see a negative spin on a morbidly obese individual.
Because Fat people don't do sports though do they? It's why they are still fat. It's why the nation has such a problem with obesity because fat people sit at home and watch daytime TV and eat biscuits by the packet load, right? They don't do exercise.
Teenagers often live in the 'here and now' and rarely think about the long-term consequences of their actions - hitting 30 seems a lifetime away. Like so many things, the implications of what they eat and how active they are has not yet hit home.
It is hard to give a good example to our kids when our own eating behaviour and body image have been skewed by years of yo-yo-dieting, misleading health advice and media pressure. If we develop a better relationship with healthy eating and exercise, then not only will our own bodies benefit, but our children will have a great example that they can learn from.
Being one of life's overweight people who are unfortunate enough to be regarded as Morbidly Obese, I am regularly belittled and derided for my size. Even when a trip to a medical establishment looks likely to be on the cards - somewhere a person should be safe from such things.
You may only have thought acute conditions like anorexia, bulimia and binge eating were eating disorders. You'd be wrong. Constant, drastic dieting is not normal behaviour and many experts now consider it is one of the major factors contributing towards the obesity epidemic. A diet is really disordered eating.
Bodybuilding at its highest level is very spiritual and scientific. It requires a Spartan routine that cleanses and detoxifies like nothing else. It is fundamentally stripping away life's inessentials. No manufactured foods. No sugar or sauces, no dessert or snacking on crisps.
Obesity is not just about being fat. It raises the risk of many health problems including diabetes, cancer, heart disease and stroke. Obesity threatens to have parents outlive their children and there is a very real concern that it could bankrupt the National Health Service (NHS).