Why fat people could die young, but rich
A round-up of the health news headlines on Wednesday 18 July
The health news this morning focuses on the fight against obesity and laziness, which can both kill us and make us rich.
Research from The Lancet has found that Britons are among the laziest people in Europe, with Britain having the third highest percentage of inactive adults in Europe, after Malta and Serbia - and far more than the US. The Metro and the BBC have reported on the study, which said the lack of exercise is responsible for about 5.3m deaths a year - about the same number as smoking - as inactivity can cause heart disease, Type 2 diabetes as well as breast and bowel cancer.
Despite being less lazy than the Brits, Americans are getting fatter, with the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) responding by approving its first new fat-fighting pill in 13 years. The FDA has approved Qsymia for patients who are overweight or obese and have at least one other weight-related condition, write Reuters and the BBC. However the sign off is controversial as the drug can increase heart rate and can't be recommended to patients with heart disease or who have recently suffered a stroke.
The news is good news for drug companies but fat people are also good news for investors as The Telegraph, Reuters and the FT all highlight a strong investment trend in the "global fight against obesity". A report from Bank of America Merrill Lynch said the investment trend should continue for the next 25-50 years, listing 50 companies in areas from healthcare and pharmaceuticals to food and sports that could benefit.
Worldwide obesity has more than doubled since 1980 to over 500 million people and keeps increasing, according to the World Health Organization.