A recent study, commissioned by McKinsey and Company, highlighted a series of 44 interventions could bring 20% of obese people in the UK back to normal weight within five to 10 years.
The report goes on to highlight that there is no silver bullet to fight the epidemic, however what’s required is a number of interlocking measures, including portion control in fast-food packaged goods, more PE lessons in schools and getting people to walk/cycle rather than drive.
The Mckinsey report makes many more recommendations including key societal changes such as ‘active transport’. This means an ‘urban redesign’ to try and encourage more people to cycling and being active, rather than relying on cars.
The research highlights that obesity isn’t a small issue, but a global issue with nearly 30 % of the global population recorded as overweight or obese. To put that into perspective – that’s almost two and a half times the number of adults and children who are undernourished.
Government authorities therefore should be reacting to this epidemic and redesign urban planning to facilitate and encourage cycling. However more critically, the report suggests that they should create disincentives to driving. Recommendations include redesigning tariffs and parking tariffs, as well as improving the quality of public transport.
The report goes on to highlight that obesity is a complex, systemic issue with no single or simple solution, however more needs to be done by governments to tackle the ever growing issue.
Will Herman, specialist outdoor consultant at Pelican Communications, said: “This is a strong report that again highlights the epidemic. This, like many similar reports surrounding obesity should add pressure on the Government to act and tackle this issue.”
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