The World Health Organisation (WHO), that bastion of dire heath predictions, is telling us that 3 out of 4 British men and 2 out of 3 British women will be overweight by 2030. That's a pretty staggering statistic, and one I think can't be true. That said, I also think Nick Clegg is hot, so what do I know.
The experts reckon this increase in obesity will come about despite the government and NHS trying to warn us all about the effects of our sugar and fat intake. Bearing in mind it's only 15 years till 2030 (stop trying to figure out your age - it's not going to be good news) it doesn't leave much time to reverse this frankly alarming news.
So what is 'being overweight' anyway? Well, it's not about pinching more than an inch any more, or whether your thighs rub together when you walk. Even if your waist is smaller than your backside, you can still be overweight. Take that Kim Kardashian!
On a serious note, there is proper science criticising our bodies. If your Body Mass Index (BMI) is more than 25, then you are overweight and a WHO statistic. More worryingly, their prediction is that in 2030 30% of women and 36% of men will be clinically obese - that's with a BMI of over 30. This is when health problems begin in earnest, such as diabetes, heart disease, and high blood pressure - those killer diseases that cause families untold misery.
If you are brave enough, you can check your BMI using a calculator, although I wouldn't recommend it, I had to eat a Flake to get over the shock. Tomorrow I will be power walking on the school run. Do chat to your doctor if you need a hand losing some weight. It's difficult to know where to begin sometimes. Surgeries often have nurses that will help you map out food and exercise plans.
Bad food choices and lack of exercise. Obesity experts think there should be better food labelling, so people can understand what they are eating. A tax on sugar is suggested by some. Economic experts believe the recent downturn in our economy means people just can't afford to buy the pricier healthy food; often relying on cheap processed meals. With reports that 1 million people rely on foodbanks this could be a real factor. Help them out if you can. Karma is real.
If it makes you feel any better, this isn't just a UK problem. Other countries have the same stretchy waistband prediction. Greece, Sweden, Spain, Austria, most of our Eurovision rivals are in the same boat, although interestingly it's predicted that Holland is heading for decreased levels of obesity. I wonder what they're doing out there that curbs the appetite?
Don't panic, this is still a prediction, but a timely reminder if you're likely to become one of the 2030 statistics. Put down that pint and go for a run just in case. You can always drink it afterwards.