NCPA - National Center for Policy Analysis

Obesity Rates Soar in Britain

November 4, 2003

Fast food restaurants and oversized portions have invaded England and now obesity rates there are on the rise, along with concerns for the future health of citizens.

The percentage of obese adults in England is three times what it was two decades ago, making it the fastest-growing rate in Western Europe. Some 21 percent of men and 23.5 percent of women are considered obese in Britain, compared to the 27 percent of men and 34 percent of women in America.

Even more alarming, obesity is rapidly increasing among children:

  • Obesity among British children is skyrocketing even faster than among adults -- tripling in just 10 years as opposed to 20 for adults.
  • Almost 1-in-5 of 15-year-olds in Britain is obese, according to the Britain's Health Development Agency.
  • The rate of obesity is up for six-year-olds too, now plaguing one in every 10 children.

Obesity can trigger a variety of illnesses and disabilities, including diabetes and cardiovascular disease. The Health Development Agency estimated that the cost of treating obesity was $2.6 billion pounds a year.

Source: Lizette Alverez, "U.S. Eating Habits, and Europeans, Are Spreading Visibly," London Journal, October 31, 2003.


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