Men's health * Healthy living * Weight loss

Cardiovascular disease to increase sharply in England

Zone default image 8 in 10 men overweight by 2020

Cardiovascular disease caused by obesity is set to increase sharply among adults in England, according to the most recent Health Survey for England.

In its forecast up to the year 2020, the National Heart Forum report, published today, predicts that 41% of men aged 20 to 65 and 36% of women in the same age group will be obese. In the 40 to 65 age group, 44% of men and 38% of women will be obese.

The report predicts that 40% of men aged between 20 and 65 and 32% of women in the same age group will be overweight. In the 40 to 65 age group, it is expected that 40% of men and 32% of women will be overweight.

Researchers updated their predictions for the incidence of conditions linked to obesity, with a substantial increase in cardiovascular diseases, particularly coronary heart disease, expected.

By 2050, the report predicted a 23% rise in obesity-related strokes, a 34% rise in obesity-related hypertension, a 44% rise in obesity-related coronary heart disease and a 98% rise in obesity-related diabetes.

Commenting on the report, Professor Klim McPherson of Oxford University said:

"There are already more men who are obese than who are of a healthy weight and by the end of the decade obese men and women could outnumber those who are overweight.

"The Government needs to redouble its efforts to tackle obesity. We are being overwhelmed by the effects of today's 'obesogenic' environment, with its abundance of energy dense food and sedentary lifestyles."

Commenting on the report, Peter Hollins, chief executive of the British Heart Foundation, said:

“These figures predict an alarming rise in adult obesity and the knock on effect this could have on the number of people suffering from heart disease will be devastating. We all need to think long and hard about the long-term consequences of choices we are making today if we want to achieve a healthy old age.

“Action must be taken now to ensure that people are empowered to combat obesity through initiatives such as a single front of pack food labelling scheme, preventing the use of television advertising to promote junk food to kids and more opportunities to build physical activity into our everyday lives," he added.

This article was published on Wed 17 February 2010

Image © Sheila Eames -

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