At the time of writing, there are currently 248,000 hospital admissions in the UK that have been attributed to Coronavirus, sadly 35,704 of those have died. Anyone reading this will have been affected in some way, and many lives have been changed as a result of losing loved ones or being ill with the virus themselves.
As a comparison, hospital admissions for obesity in 2018/2019 were 1,086,266 (source: NHS) and deaths directly attributed to obesity are roughly the same as Coronavirus. This is every year; the figure has been growing for a long time and looks certain to continue. The actual death figure is thought to be far higher as obesity has long been linked to heart disease, cancers, and a whole host of other life- threatening illnesses.
One third of all Coronavirus deaths have been in people diagnosed with Diabetes, which maybe indicates how underlying health conditions linked to being overweight can affect our ability to overcome illness.
So why are obesity levels so high? Successive government since the start of the millennium have promised to reduce obesity figures, but all have failed. Numerous initiatives have been implemented from sugar taxes to investment in education – nothing has worked so far and the predicted figures for obesity levels over the next 15 years are worrying.
We are all responsible for our own health and wellbeing, and no matter how much the government, or anyone else tries to help, we will not be making the changes we need to unless we want to. Obesity ultimately comes down to the individual, and we need to start acting. Lives are being ruined, the NHS is under huge pressure, and it is something that we can do ourselves without medical intervention– generally move more and make wiser food choices.