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Friday, 26 September 2014
Obesity could bankrupt NHS if left unchecked !
The chief executive of NHS England has warned that obesity will bankrupt the health service unless Britain gets serious about tackling the problem.
"Obesity is the new smoking, and it represents a slow-motion car crash in terms of avoidable illness and rising health care costs," Simon Stevens told public health officials at a conference in Coventry.
"If as a nation we keep piling on the pounds around the waistline, we'll be piling on the pounds in terms of future taxes needed just to keep the NHS afloat."
Stevens, who took up the post this year, said the health of millions of children, the sustainability of the NHS and the economic prosperity of Britain all now depend on a radical upgrade in prevention and public health.
Local authorities have been given responsibility for tackling obesity, as part of their new public health remit. Money for public health has been ringfenced by the government, but individual authorities are free to spend it according to the needs and priorities in their own area. Some experts fear that obesity, which is hard to tackle and needs the involvement of town planners and education departments as well as health, may not get the funding it needs.