The Islamic State terrorist group, aka ISIS, is the biggest threat to global security today, many world leaders have said. But one British official was expected this week to say that obesity poses as big a risk to England as terrorism.
Dame Sally Davies, England’s chief medical officer, said she wants the obesity crisis among British women to be classified as a major national threat, alongside flooding, outbreaks of disease and violent extremism, the Daily Mail reported Friday. “Action is required across all of society to prevent obesity and its associated problems from shortening women’s lives and affecting their quality of life,” Davies was expected to say in a major report scheduled for release Friday.
More than half of British women 34 to 44, and nearly two-thirds of those over-45, are considered overweight or obese, according to the Daily Mail. That’s higher than any other country in Europe.
Davies, the first female chief doctor in England, has said that being overweight affects all stages of women’s lives, including when they are in the womb. Obesity has been proved to increase the likelihood of higher-risk pregnancies, the development of breast cancer and heart disease after menopause, she said.
The medical official was also expected to urge mothers not to “eat for two” when they are pregnant, because that is also fueling the obesity crisis. Her report also calls for increased national awareness of other female health risks, including signs of domestic abuse, ovarian cancer and anorexia.
Davies is mostly concerned about obesity and was expected to say as much in a speech Friday, according to the Daily Mail. “This is a difficult message to convey, as it risks burdening women with guilt and responsibility, but I believe that it can also empower women to take positive steps like eating more healthily and taking more exercise,” she was expected to say.