Diabetes and obesity continue to rise in UK


London: Rates of obesity and diabetes continue to rise across England, although people are living longer than ever, the UK Government has revealed.

Obesity rates in England were by 2005 the highest among the 15 member states who then formed the European Union. Also life expectancy continues to increase.

A girl can expect to live to 81, more than a year and a half longer than a decade before. But life expectancy in the north of the country is shorter than in the south.

Women in the North East and North West live over two years less than those in the South East and South West, while men live over two and a half years less than their southern contemporaries.

In the decade ending in 2005 covered by the report, the proportion of obese men rose by over 40%, although the figures did start to fall slightly in the final year.

The proportion of obese women however rose by almost 35% and shows no signs of slowing. Among children, it was up by over 50%.

The figures for children are seen as much more precise than those for adults, as they are based on hard data provided by almost every school in the country, while the adult figures are extrapolated from sample surveys.

This latest report comes on the back of a major study into obesity sponsored by the government, which forecast that the majority of us would be obese by 2050.

Obesity is known to contribute to some health conditions, including type 2 diabetes. Overall rates for diabetes increased from 5.8% of the population to 8.4% between 1998 and 2004.

Other conditions on the increase include chronic liver disease and cirrhosis. This latest data shows that among females, rates for these diseases have increased above the average of Western Europe.

Mortality rates from cancer are on the decline, although the outcome still varies according to the specific type of the disease.

And life expectancy is improving for everyone. While a baby girl can now expect to live to 81.2, a baby boy can expect to live to 76.9, nearly 2.5 years longer than ten years previous, according to the 2005 statistics.