UK's women fattest in Europe, 'anti-obesity' parks spark outrage and WHO urged not to suppress e-cigs
A round-up of the morning’s health news headlines on Thursday 29 May.
British girls are the fattest in Europe, laments the Daily Mail this morning, following a report showing that for women under 20 the UK ranked top of western Europe nations in the obesity stakes.
The study found nearly a third of the UK’s women this age is either obese or overweight.
UK boys were the tenth out of the 22 nations included in the report, which suggested that while around 69% of older British women and two-thirds of older men are fat, the evidence suggests obesity is levelling off in adults and the concern is about the younger population.
‘In developed countries, peak prevalence of obesity is moving to younger ages,’ the report said.
Without drawing any links… news next up from The Telegraph that Coca-Cola has provoked the wrath of campaigners over its plans for a £20 million ‘anti-obesity’ programme across UK parks.
Public health campaigners have described the move as an ‘obscene’ attempt to distract from its role in the obesity epidemic, says the paper.
Dr Aseem Malhotra, cardiologist and science director for campaign group Action on Sugar, said: ‘I think this is a really disingenuous stunt. They are trying to deflect attention from their own part in creating an obesity epidemic, which has been fuelled almost entirely by rising calorie consumption.’
And lastly another major public health issue top of the headlines this morning is news the World Health Organisation is coming under pressure not to ‘suppress and control’ e-cigarettes, according to The Guardian.
Apparently a letter signed by more than 50 researchers and specialists, including Professor Robert West of University College London, has urged the WHO not to impose regulations on the devices in the same way it does with conventional cigarettes.
The letter said: ‘These products could be among the most significant health innovations of the 21st century – perhaps saving hundreds of millions of lives. If regulators treat low-risk nicotine products as traditional tobacco products … they are improperly defining them as part of the problem.’
In response, a WHO spokesman has told the BBC: ‘WHO is currently working on recommendations for governments on the regulation and marketing of e-cigarettes and similar devices. This is part of a paper that will be submitted to the parties of the WHO framework convention on tobacco control later this year.
‘We are also working with national regulatory bodies to look at regulatory options, as well as toxicology experts, to understand more about the possible impact of e-cigarettes and similar devices on health.’