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'Take action now to tackle the obesity timebomb'

Immediate action is needed to tackle the serious health consequences of obesity, concludes a report from three leading medical organisations.

At least a third of adults will be obese by 2020, according to the report of a working party from the Royal College of Physicians, Royal College of Paediatrics and Child Health, and the Faculty of Public Health Medicine.

The problem will be of similar magnitude in children, with a fifth of boys and a third of girls likely to be obese by 2020.

The report recommends the prevention and management of obesity should be included in all NHS plans and policies and that doctors should have better training to help them promote healthy lifestyles.

Local action plans aimed at target groups in schools, GP practices, and the workplace should be set up to encourage healthy eating and physical exercise and national awards should be given for those who have been most successful in tackling obesity problems.

Other recommendations include a Government task-force to oversee implementation of strategies and new controls on marketing and lab- elling of food.

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