Obesity study a wake up call, says Tom.
A study showing that middle-aged people who are severely obese are 50 per cent more likely to die early should act as a "huge wake up call", according to Tom Watson.
The Labour deputy leader said health professionals, policy-makers and the food industry should no longer "sit idly by" viewing obesity as a lifestyle choice. It comes after a study of 2.8 million patients said people with the highest levels of obesity were running a high risk of a range of serious illnesses and premature death.
They were 12 times the risk of type 2 diabetes, 22 times the risk of sleep apnoea and nearly four times the risk of heart failure compared to those who are of normal weight, according to research by Danish firm Novo Nordisk.
West Bromwich East MP Mr Watson, who managed to reverse type 2 diabetes symptoms when he lost seven stone in weight, said: "This study is a huge wake-up call for health professionals, policymakers and the food industry. We can no longer sit idly by viewing obesity as a lifestyle choice, when for millions of the less well off in our society it is simply not."
The study was presented at the European Congress on Obesity in Glasgow.
It gives an indication of the extent to which obesity can take a toll on people's health in the real world - as opposed to clinical trials.
It concluded that even the least obese, with a body mass index (BMI) of 30 to 35, had nearly twice the risk of heart failure.