Ministers should now tax unhealthy food as obesity is the most widespread in the U.S. and Britain among the world’s leading economies, experts urged on Friday.

Experts believe that half of all adults in the U.S. and Britain will be obese by 2030.

According to public health academics, stronger measures are needed to halt the growing obesity epidemic.

Obesity is becoming an important preventable cause of chronic non-communicable diseases. By 2030, obesity will add an extra 7.8 million cases of diabetes, 6.8 million cases of heart disease and stroke, and 539,000 cases of cancer in the United States.

According to a research team led by Claire Wang at the Mailman School of Public Health of the Columbia University in New York, around 32% of men and 35% of women are obese in the U.S. The researchers published their findings in a series of four papers on obesity in The Lancet.

According to the work published in The Lancet, in 2008 some 26 per cent of British adults were obese, but by 2030 the percentage of obese people could rise up to 46 per cent if historical trends continue. That means in less than 20 years there will be an additional 11 million obese people.

Researchers worry that obese people suffer much more from diabetes, heart disease and cancer. They warned that in Britain by 2030 obesity rates, which are 26 per cent for both sexes will increase to between 41-48% for men and 35-43% for women.

An extra 668,000 cases of diabetes, 461,000 of heart disease and 130,000 cancer cases would result, they wrote.

Professor Steven Gortmaker, from the Harvard School of Public Health, told The Telegraph that taxing unhealthy food and drink would save governments billions by reducing obesity-related illness, as well as bringing in revenue.

According to his calculation, tax on unhealthy food would save California, with a population of 37 million, $1.5 billion (about £1 million) a year.

Due to overeating of unhealthy food, obesity has become a growing problem everywhere and experts are warning people about its ripple effects on health.

The risk of heart disease, stroke, diabetes, hypertension, and high cholesterol are increased due to obesity.