European report reveals scope of obesity crisis in the UK

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The UK has the highest obesity prevalence in men across Europe, as a major report calls for greater awareness of the health complications obesity can lead to.
The European Society of Cardiology (ESC) Atlas of Cardiology document revealed nearly 27 per cent of British men are obese, and around 30 per cent of British women are overweight.
In terms of exercise, the UK ranked third in lack of activity and tenth for binge drinking, but also had the lowest rates for smoking and high blood pressure.
Obesity and poor lifestyle increases the risk of type 2 diabetes and cardiovascular disease, but these health complications can be avoided. Eating a healthy diet low in starchy carbohydrates and processed food can reduce the risk of health problems, while getting regular exercise has major benefits for heart health.
The data from this report was collected from 56 European countries in a bid to determine prevalence rates of cardiovascular disease (CVD), as well as how much it costs each nation to treat it and how different economic incomes can affect the figures.
In the UK deaths from CVD have more than halved over the last 50 years, driven in part by reductions in harmful lifestyle habits such as smoking, but the authors warned that deaths from heart disease and stroke could rise because of the obesity epidemic.
First author Adam Timmis, professor of clinical cardiology, Barts Heart Centre, Queen Mary University of London, said: “Heart disease still remains the leading cause of death for middle income countries, while declines in high-income countries mean that cancer deaths have now become more common there.
“But this downward trend for high-income countries is being threatened by the emerging obesity epidemic that is seeing rates of diabetes increase almost everywhere.”
The findings of the report have been published in the European Heart Journal.
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