A UK senior doctor has just compared obesity, particularly in women, to terrorism for its being a national threat.
Professor Dame Sally Davies, a hematologist who's currently serving as the chief medical officer, shared that obesity among women should be considered as a "national risk" like terrorism because of its impact to health care costs and the health of the future children.
In the 2014 Global Burden of Disease study, the UK has one of the highest obesity rates in Western Europe. Davies shared that the latest data in her yearly report suggests that around 50% of women in their childbearing ages are already either overweight or obese.
Obesity is a metabolic condition characterized by excessive storage of fat in the body. Of the different types of obesity, central obesity is deemed to be the most dangerous since they can affect hormones and function of vital organs. They are also closely linked to diseases such as heart disorders and type 2 diabetes.
Overweight or obese childbearing women, on the other hand, have a higher risk of giving birth prematurely. Further, recent studies have shown that their babies may also be born larger than the others and may be more susceptible to develop obesity-related diseases early.
Commenting on the report, a professor from University College London, Nick Finer, mentioned that lack of action against obesity among women could potentially send NHS to bankruptcy. A 2014 research said that obesity spending in the UK is now higher than that of terrorism or war. Moreover, mortality risk may go up for young adults. In fact, they may die before their parents would.
Davies recommended that childbearing women, especially those who wanted to conceive, should seek help from the NHS who can provide them with actionable steps to reduce their weight. These may include changing the old mind-set that pregnant women should "eat for two" and keeping up a more active lifestyle while eating healthy.