British obesity prescriptions bloat 600 percent in six years

fat bellyBritain's growing battle with obesity was underlined as new data showed that the number of prescriptions written for anti-obesity drugs has risen by nearly 600 percent in six years.

According to data released by the government-run National Health Service, nearly 871,000 prescriptions for anti-obesity drugs were written in 2005, compared to around 127,000 in 1999 -- a 586 percent increase.

The proportion of English men rated as obese -- defined as having a body mass index of greater than 30 -- rose to 22.1 percent last year, compared to 13.2 percent in 1993, while 21.9 percent of English women were classed as obese in 2005, against 16.4 percent in 1993.

Children also saw an increase in rates of obesity -- 18 percent of boys last year were rated obese, from 10.9 percent in 1995, and 18.1 percent of girls, from 12 percent 11 years ago.

A government report in October showed that Britain's adult obesity rates were the highest in Europe at 24 percent -- and that children were rapidly catching up.

source - AFP 

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