The Royal College of Physicians (RCP) is a founding member of the Obesity Health Alliance (OHA), a group of more than 40 leading organisations with expertise in tackling obesity. Our goal is to prevent obesity-related ill-health by addressing the influences that lead to excess bodyweight throughout life.
The OHA believes we need urgent action in 10 areas to tackle obesity. The RCP summarises them as:
In January 2019 the RCP called for obesity to urgently be recognised as a disease by government and the broader health sector. Until this happens its prevalence is unlikely to be reduced.
Almost two thirds of adults and children in the UK are obese or overweight, and the rate continues to rise. It is estimated that 14% of premature deaths could be prevented if people were a healthy weight.
In 2007, obesity cost the NHS £2.7 billion and the UK economy £15.8 billion. This does not include the cost of diseases for which obesity is a risk factor. For example, type 2 diabetes costs the NHS £8.8 billion a year and the UK economy over £15 billion a year.