England is engaged in a battle of the bulge to combat rising obesity levels, and the country isn't alone.
Health officials published Healthy Lives, Healthy People: A call to action on obesity in England on Thursday, which outlines plans to slim down the population.
Data from the most recent Health Survey for England (HSE) shows that approximately one in every four adults is obese and that more than one in 10 children aged two to 10 is obese.
Obesity-related health problems are estimated to cost the government £4.2 billion ($6.65 billion) per year, and that number is predicted to double if the country doesn't make an effort to stay at a healthy weight level, according to the Department of Health.
We have to halt and then reverse the tide of obesity in this country, health secretary Andrew Lansley said in a statement. Government has a role to play, but it is clear that we cannot do this alone. We need to work in a broad partnership with local authorities, businesses, charities, health professionals and individuals.
Health officials say exercise is important, but cutting calories is key to keeping trim. They want the nation to cut five billion calories.
Most of us are eating or drinking more than we need to and are not active enough, England's chief medical officer Sally Davies said in a statement. Being overweight or obese is a direct consequence of eating more calories than we need. Increasing physical activity is a part of the equation, but reducing the amount of calories we consume is key.
England isn't the only country battling obesity problems.
The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) estimate that approximately one-third of the nation's adult population is obese, as well as 12.5 million children and adolescents from the ages of two to 19.
Initiatives such as the U.S. Department of Agriculture's My Plate mirror what the UK is doing to combat obesity levels.
When mom or dad comes home from a long day of work, we're already asked to be a chef, a referee, a cleaning crew, First Lady Michelle Obama said in a USDA statement. So it's tough to be a nutritionist, too. But we do have time to take a look at our kids' plates. As long as they're half full of fruits and vegetables, and paired with lean proteins, whole grains and low-fat dairy, we're golden.