Obesity is not a moral failing but a chronic disease and should be recognised as such, the Royal College of Physicians (RCP) said as it called for a fundamental shift in how the issue is tackled.
The Government and broader health sector need to introduce formal policies reflecting this shift “so that significant and far-reaching preventative measures can be put in place”, the RCP said. Without this, the number of obese individuals in the UK is unlikely to fall, it added.
Public Health England (PHE) statistics show that in 2015, 63 per cent of adults were classed as overweight or obese, while in 2015-16 some 19.8 per cent of children were obese and 14.3 per cent overweight.
RCP president professor Andrew Goddard said: “It is important to the health of the nation that we remove the stigma associated with obesity. It is not a lifestyle choice caused by individual greed but a disease caused by health inequalities, genetic influences and social factors.”