Archive for December 2011

Four in ten obese Britons think they are healthy

A survey has found that four in 10 obese people think they are actually healthy.Four in ten obese Britons think they are healthyAs a consequence Britons must be given better education about weight problems, experts have urged.

More than a quarter of people in Britain are clinically obese yet only one in seven admit it, it is claimed.

Four in 10 people who were actually obese thought they were a ‘healthy’ weight, according to the Bupa Health Pulse poll, suggesting Britons are “blissfully unaware” of the dangers of eating too much and not taking enough exercise.

Britain’s obesity epidemic is reaching crisis point as the NHS struggles to cope with increasing numbers of patients with conditions caused by their weight.

Research studies have shown that people fail to recognise obesity in their own family members, especially when they live in areas where being overweight is common.

The findings come after NHS data revealed that one in three children leave primary school either overweight or obese, despite most starting school at a healthy weight.

The Bupa survey, which questioned 2,000 people in Britain and 1,000 from in other countries, also disclosed that British people are among the most overweight in the world.

Almost six in ten people in Britain had a body mass index of 25 or more, meaning they were overweight.

Of the 12 countries surveyed only three had more overweight people, America with 64 per cent measured as overweight, Saudi Arabia with 64 per cent and Australia with 60 per cent.

The survey found that 85 per cent of people with a BMI of 30 or more admitted they would like to lose weight and well over half, or 64 10 cent would like to exercise more.

The survey was conducted by Ipsos MORI and involved questioning 13,373 people in total in 12 countries earlier this year. These were: Australia, Brazil, China, Hong Kong, India, Mexico, New Zealand, Saudi Arabia, Spain, Thailand, UK and USA.

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Junk food companies criticised for targeting children online

Junk food manufacturers have been accused of “shamelessly exploiting” gaps in regulation by targeting children online, with games endorsing their products.Junk food companies criticised for targeting children onlineHealth campaigners say companies that produce foods which cannot be advertised on children’s television, because of high levels of salt, fat and sugar are using manipulative tactics to lure young customers to their wares.

A report from the British Heart Foundation (BHF) criticises companies for producing free gifts, such as apps, downloads, ringtones and games to appeal to the children’s market, and developing brand characters and cartoons to win early brand loyalty.

Examples cited in the report include a website for cereal Sugar Puffs, which says it is “packed with honey goodness” despite containing more sugar than a ring doughnut.

The website invites children to find the Honey Monster, and encourages them to play games and enter competitions. Users are asked for parental permission, but the site can be accessed by anyone ticking the box.

Children who visit the website for Cheestrings, a processed cheese product, are personally addressed by “Mr Strings” and offered games and videos, without any age checks.

Nesquik’s site for their chocolate drink offers an animated bunny characters, and quizzes, with links to a Facebook page, while Cadbury’s Buttons offers puzzles and activities and children’s bespoke books – despite asking users to state that they are over the age of 18.

All four products cannot be advertised during children’s television, because of restrictions on foods high in fat, salt or sugar.

In failing to protect children from online junk food marketing, the Government was demonstrating complacency, when action was needed to help reverse unacceptable levels of obesity in the UK.

New figures published recently showed one in three children is obese or overweight by the time they leave primary school.

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