‘Obesity is the new smoking’ says UK health agency in response to cancer report

(Natasha Hinde/ HuffPost UK) — Obese people now outnumber smokers in the UK by two to one, according to new figures from Cancer Research UK, which says “excess weight [is] causing more cases of certain cancers than smoking”.

The charity is urging the government to take action to tackle obesity in the same week it faced a backlash over its new advertising campaign, which some people suggested is fuelling “weight stigma” and shaming people who are obese.

But Cancer Research UK has the full support of the NHS in the campaign – Simon Stevens, chief executive of NHS England, said the charity’s study “is further proof that obesity is the new smoking”.

“The NHS can’t win the ‘battle against the bulge’ on its own; families, food businesses and government all need to play their part if we’re to avoid copying America’s damaging and costly example,” Stephens said. (…)

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