U.K. Professor Wants Government To Fight Obesity

POSTED: 12:14 pm CST December 15, 2006

How intrusive is too intrusive?

A leading professor in the U.K. said that obese people should be warned about the health risks of their weight when buying clothes, according to The Daily Mail.
[yeah yeah yeah, I've already been warned (about a million times)]

Naveed Sattar, professor of metabolic medicine at the University of Glasgow, said that oversized clothing should have obesity help line numbers sewn on them to try to reduce Britain's obesity crisis.

The professor made the recommendations in this week's issue of the British Medical Journal.

Sir George Albert, the U.K.'s national director for emergency care, joined other health professionals in their recommendations. He wants the government to take a more proactive response to obesity.

The suggestion would be to put the label on all clothes with waist sizes over 37 inches for boys or 31 inches for girls. Women's clothes over size 16 would also get a label.

The paper reported that Sattar also believes new urban roads should only be built if they include a separate lane for bicyclists.The professor also said that new housing complexes should all include sports facilities and park areas.

Britain's obesity problem could bankrupt its health system if nothing is done to stop it, according to Sattar. The British Medical Journal reported that more than half of the U.K.'s population is overweight and more than one in five adults is obese.

Treating obese people in that country takes up about 9 percent of the health budget, the Mail reported.

Sattar thinks there should be more political intervention. He told the journal that he also wants food manufacturers to display nutrition information on the content of all meals and snacks at retail and catering outlets.

"People clearly have some responsibility for their health, but society and government have a responsibility to make the preferred, easy choices healthier ones," Sattar said.

Sattar said in the journal that education should be provided at all levels to change behavior towards diet and physical activity, and obesity made a core part of all medical training, according to a press release.