News Thursday September 2, 2010

Britain’s booze culture is fuelling obesity

A quarter of Britons drink more than they should, a survey shows, and this trend is believed to be fuelling national obesity.

North West Public Health Observatory, based at Liverpool’s John Moore’s University, carried out the research. They concluded that 1 in 4 of us drink more than our recommended weekly limit. Beer and other alcoholic drinks are high in calories and can contribute to weight gain.

Professor Mark Bellis, the Observatory’s Director, said: “It is time to recognise that we are not a population of responsible drinkers with just a handful of irresponsible individuals ruining it for others.” He added: “We need to see the real cost of obesity reflected in the price.”

Alcohol is adding to the Welsh obesity epidemic. Experts say Welsh drinkers often drink a 10th of their daily calorific intake in a single night’s drinking session. Alcohol concern says 8 out of 10 drinkers are unaware of how many calories they consume when they go drinking.

Earlier this year, the King's Fund charity said obesity and alcohol blighted the Labour Government's health record. The organisation said Labour had failed to halt rising obesity levels, which now see 1 in 4 adults obese or overweight.

Another recent study shows that the combination of alcohol and obesity increases people's risk of suffering from liver disease.

Obesity solutions?

Obesity is increasingly common in our society and experts warn that too many people are seeking ‘quick fix’ solutions to obesity. The most simple and natural obesity solution is a better lifestyle. This includes drinking less, eating more fresh fruit and vegetables, and exercising regularly. Drinking less alcohol reduces our calorie intake. Consuming lots of water instead can help us to lose weight. Water has been found to help people put less weight on in a study this month.

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