United Kingdom and obesity

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In May 2014, the British paper The Mirror reported that according to the British medical journal Lancet, British girls are the most overweight girls in Western Europe.[1]

According to the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD): "Obesity rates in the United Kingdom are the highest in Europe. In England, rates have increased faster than in most OECD countries. Two out of 3 men are overweight and 1 in 4 people are obese in the United Kingdom. The proportion of people overweight in England is projected by the OECD to rise a further 10% during the next 10 years."[2]

Professor Terence Stephenson in Measuring Up, a report on the nation's obesity crisis by the Academy of Medical Royal Colleges (AoMRC), called Britain "the fat man of Europe".[3]

On May 28, 2014, The Guardian reported on that the United Kingdom is among worst in Western Europe as far as the level of overweight and obese people.[4] In 2014, in the UK, 67% of men and 57% of women were either overweight or obese.[5]

In May 2014, the British paper The Mirror reported that according to the British medical journal Lancet, British girls are the most overweight girls in Western Europe.[6] In Britain, 29.2% of girls under the age of 20 are classed as excessively heavy with just over 8% meeting the clinical definition of obesity.[7]

In 2015, Mashable reported:

Ten new "healthy towns" designed to get people to exercising more, eating healthily and live independently during old age are to be built across the country, NHS England announced on Tuesday.

The towns — comprising more than 76,000 affordable homes — will include fast food-free zones near schools, safe green spaces, "dementia-friendly" streets and accessible GP services.

Designed to tackle obesity and dementia, the towns will have a potential capacity for approximately 170,000 residents.

While some developments are already being built, others will not be completed until 2030, however.

A recent WHO report revealed the extent of Britain's growing obesity crisis, with figures suggesting that 74% of men and 64% of women will be overweight by 2030.[8]

On September 2, 2014, the New York Times wrote concerning Britain:

In high-income countries, excess weight is the third-leading risk factor in death. The importance of addressing this was brought home again last month with the publication of a new study and editorial, also in The Lancet. The work looked at 22 different cancers in Britain and their association with body mass index (B.M.I.), a simple but more effective measure of obesity than weight alone. The conclusions of the study, which involved a whopping 5.24 million people, were both notable and not entirely unexpected: When adjusted for factors like age and smoking, a higher B.M.I. was associated with a large increase in risk of cancers of the uterus, kidney, gallbladder, and liver, and smaller risk increases for at least six other types of cancer.[9]

According to Cancer Risk UK, "More than one in three people in the UK will be diagnosed with some form of cancer during their lifetime".[10]

2023 UK military hit by ‘dangerously’ overweight soldiers-related problems. UK soldier was 420 pounds (over 190 kg) when he was discharged

Obesity is positively associated with impulsiveness, lower self-discipline and neuroticism.[11]

The Tasmin News Agency reported on January, 08, 2023:

About 40,000 of the UK military’s 145,000 personnel have been officially classified as dangerously overweight or obese over the past five years, according to Ministry of Defense (MoD) statistics as cited by a British media outlet.

The statistics also revealed that 5,200 obese or overweight British servicemen have been medically discharged since 2010, with scores of soldiers suffering from Type 2 diabetes, high blood pressure and heart disease, Sputnik reported.

The heaviest soldier, who was sacked from the army after failing mandatory fitness tests, weighed more than 420 pounds (over 190 kg).

Over 850 troops have reportedly been prescribed diet pills since 2014, while 60 others have had liposuction surgery to tackle the problem.

This came as a MoD spokesperson claimed that “personnel can have multiple causes listed in a medical discharge, so may not have been discharged specifically for weight related issues.”[12]

Secular UK residents and obesity

Stephen Fry is a British atheist and homosexual. (photo obtained from Wikimedia Commons, see license agreement)

Britain is the birthplace of Darwinism. Since World War II a majority of the most prominent and vocal defenders of the evolutionary position which employs methodological naturalism have been atheists or agnostics.[13] A Eurobarometer poll in 2010 reported that 37% of UK citizens "believed there is a God", 33% believe there is "some sort of spirit or life force" and 25% answered "I don't believe there is any sort of spirit, God or life force".[14]

In the journal article Religion, self-regulation, and self-control: Associations, explanations, and implications, psychologists McCullough and Willoughby theorize that many of the positive links of religiousness with health and social behavior may be caused by religion's beneficial influences on self-control/self-regulation.[15][16] Furthermore, a 2012 Queen's University study published in Psychological Science found that religion replenishes self-control.[17][18] Also, numerous studies indicate that those who engage in regular spiritual practices have lower mortality rates.[19][20]

See also:

UK, alcohol usage and obesity

See also: Atheism and alcoholism

UK and alcohol usage

On July 29, 2014, The Independent reported:

The UK is full of heavy drinkers with bad eating habits who are ignorant, intolerant and too nationalistic – so it’s just as well that we are also very polite.

It might sound like a stereotypical list of national traits, but these are the views of more than 5,000 young adults from five different countries who were asked to give their opinion on modern Britain by the British Council.[21]

The UK website Alcohol Concern reports:

More than 9 million people in England drink more than the recommended daily limits

In England, in 2012 there were 6,490 alcohol-related deaths, a 19% increase compared to 2001

Alcohol is 10% of the UK burden of disease and death, making alcohol one of the three biggest lifestyle risk factors for disease and death in the UK, after smoking and obesity.

An estimated 7.5 million people are unaware of the damage their drinking could be causing

In the UK in 2012-13, there were 1,008,850 hospital admissions related to alcohol consumption where an alcohol-related disease, injury or condition was the primary reason for hospital admission or a secondary diagnosis[22]

Heavy drinking and weight gain

Research indicates that heavy drinking may contribute to obesity. For example, a study found that frequent, light drinkers (3 to 7 drinking days per week, 1 drink per drinking day) had lower BMIs than infrequent, but heavier drinkers.[23]

On November 5, 2014, the journalist Margot Peppers reported:

According to a chart compiled by Arizona personal trainer Lucas James, people who consider themselves average wine drinkers consume an excess of 2,000 calories per month - the equivalent of 141 ice creams a year.

In fact, for adults who drink, alcohol alone accounts for a whopping ten per cent of the calories they consume.

...When you indulge in a glass of wine, for instance, you're taking in around the same amount of calories as you would from eating slice of cake.[24]

United Kingdom's pet obesity epidemic

See also: Pet obesity

In 2015, The Guardian reported concerning the United Kingdom: "Fat cats – and dogs and rabbits – are expected to outstrip healthy ones within five years, as pet obesity rates continue to rise across the country..."[25]

According to Britain's Daily Mirror:

Fatty treats and junk food are to blame for a "tragic" obesity crisis for British pets, according to new research.

Owners are giving more than 10 million animals high-calorie foods such as take-aways, biscuits, chips and even alcohol, the People's Dispensary for Sick Animals (PDSA) charity found."[26]

Overweight British cat.

See also

Various generations and rates of irreligion/obesity:


External links


  1. British girls are FATTEST in western Europe claims alarming new research by The Lancet, Mirror, Ben Burrows, May 29, 2014 10:52
  2. Obesity and the Economics of Prevention: Fit not Fat - United Kingdom (England) Key Facts
  3. UK among worst in western Europe for level of overweight and obese people, The Guardian, Sarah Boseley, Wednesday 28 May 2014
  4. UK among worst in western Europe for level of overweight and obese people, The Guardian, Sarah Boseley, Wednesday 28 May 2014
  5. British girls are FATTEST in western Europe claims alarming new research by The Lancet, Mirror, Ben Burrows, May 29, 2014 10:52
  6. British girls are FATTEST in western Europe claims alarming new research by The Lancet, Mirror, Ben Burrows, May 29, 2014 10:52
  7. [Britain is building special new towns to tackle the obesity crisis]
  8. Will China Defeat Obesity? By MARK BITTMANSEPT. 2, 2014
  9. [Cancer Risk UK - Lifetime risk of cancer]
  10. UK Military Hit by ‘Dangerously’ Overweight Soldiers-Related Problems: Report, Tasmin News Agency, January, 08, 2023
  11. Special Eurobarometer, biotechnology, p. 204". Fieldwork: Jan-Feb 2010.
  12. Religion, Self-Regulation, and Self-Control: Associations, Explanations, and Implications
  13. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/19210054
  14. [Religion Replenishes Self-Control, Psychological Science, June 2012 vol. 23 no. 6 635-642, Kevin Rounding, Albert Lee, Jill A. Jacobson and Li-Jun Ji at Queen’s University]
  15. Study finds religion helps us gain self-control
  16. Religious involvement and mortality: a meta-analytic review. McCullough ME, Hoyt WT, Larson DB, Koenig HG, Thoresen C., Health Psychol. 2000 May;19(3):211-22.
  17. The role of spirituality in health care, roc (Bayl Univ Med Cent). 2001 October; 14(4): 352–357.
  18. Boozy, ignorant, intolerant, but very polite – Britain as others see us
  19. Statistics on alcohol - Alcohol concern
  20. Breslow et al. Drinking Patterns and Body Mass Index in Never Smokers: National Health Interview Survey, 1997–2001. Am J Epidemiol 2005;161:368–376.
  21. [How many calories are YOU drinking? The shocking ways alcohol contributes to weight gain revealed]
  22. Pet obesity a growing problem in the UK
  23. Take-aways, biscuits, chips and alcohol fuelling Britain's PET obesity crisis