Opinion Editorial

Tuesday 19 November 2019

The obesity timebomb

Walk along any main street or visit any shopping centre and one of the first things that will become apparent is the large number of seriously obese young people.

In recent years more and more of us have fallen into the trap of eating more and exercising less.

The result has been an explosion in obesity with a fifth of all children now overweight while over a fifth of all adult females and more than a quarter of adult males now estimated to be obese.

This massive increase in the incidence of obesity is a public health timebomb. Research published yesterday by the Institute of Public Health in Ireland predicted that the number of adults aged over 45 with diabetes would jump by 30pc to 175,000 by 2020.

That's an increase of 40,000 in the space of just eight years.

Diabetes is not just expensive to treat, it also brings with it all sorts of unpleasant side-effects ranging from blindness to nerve damage to kidney disease and much else besides. And the tragedy is that adult-onset Type-2 diabetes is usually preventable. Unlike Type-1 childhood diabetes, Type-2 diabetes is almost always the product of the patient's lifestyle.

Being seriously obese increases your chances of developing Type-2 diabetes almost sixty-fold.

So for everyone who wants to reduce their chances of developing this debilitating illness the advice is simple: cut back on the calories and take more exercise.

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