Being overweight is increasingly seen as the norm, England’s chief medical officer says.

Living in a country where 75% of adults and 33% of children are obese or overweight is it really a surprise that being overweight is now being considered normal?

52% of overweight men and 30% of overweight women think they are ‘about the right weight’ and 77% of parents of overweight children do not recognise it.

In her annual report on the state of health, chief medical officer Dame Sally Davies said this it concerning that many people did not recognise they had a problem. Dame Sally blamed the way weight was being portrayed by the media and clothes industry.

“I have long been concerned that being underweight is often portrayed as the ideal weight, particularly in the fashion industry. Yet I am increasingly concerned that society may be normalising being overweight.

“Larger mannequins are being introduced into clothes shops and “size inflation” means that clothes with the same size label have become larger in recent decades. And news stories about weight often feature pictures of severely obese people, which are unrepresentative of the majority of overweight people.”

Dame Sally believes that a sugar tax may be necessary to combat obesity. She says children and adults of all ages are consuming too much sugar.

This has caused some controversy as the government’s approach has been characterised by working with industry to get them to make food and drink products healthier.

Professor Kevin Fenton, of Public Health England, said he agreed with Dame Sally’s comments.

“We share her concerns. Overweight and obesity costs the NHS over £5bn each year and is entirely preventable.”

Would it not be better for the government to support natural foods that are already known to promote health, instead of try to improve processed foods? I’d love to know what you think in the comments section below.

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