Surveillance and monitoring

J. R. Wilkinson, S. Walrond, Louisa Ells, C. D. Summerbell

    Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

    10 Citations (Scopus)


    The UK Government has identified obesity as a priority area, as it is thought to present a serious public health problem. Although it is a highly complex multifactorial disease, it has been hypothesized that obesity, in particular morbid obesity, may decrease life by up to 9 years and significantly increase the risk of many other important diseases, e.g. diabetes, heart disease and some cancers. Furthermore, it has been estimated that if obesity continues to rise at the current rate, children could die earlier than their parents (1).

    A joint report from the Audit Commission, the Healthcare Commission and the National Audit Office estimated that the current cost of obesity to the National Health Service (NHS) in England stands at £1 billion, and that the cost to the UK economy is £2.3–2.6 billion in indirect costs. If this present trend continues, by 2010 the annual cost to the economy could be £3.6 billion a year (2).

    Obesity cannot be considered in isolation from other lifestyle factors, in particular, physical exercise. Strategies for reducing obesity must therefore consider both sides of the energy equation.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)23-29
    Number of pages7
    JournalObesity Reviews
    Issue numberSUPPL. 1
    Publication statusPublished - 1 Mar 2007


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