In England in 2013, 64% of women aged 34-44 and 71% of women aged 45-54 were classified as overweight or obese…reports Asian Lite News
England’s Chief Medical Officer Dame Sally Davies said obesity is the biggest threat to women’s health and the health of future generations.
She said action is needed to “empower women and their families to live healthier lives”, warning that obesity could impact down the generations.
“I’m calling on the Government to elevate obesity to a national risk,” Dame Sally said.
The national risk register of civil emergencies lists priority threats to the country including terror and cyber attacks and natural hazards such as flu pandemics.
In her annual report, she said tackling obesity should be a national priority and women should be empowered to lead healthier and more active lives. The report makes 17 recommendations for the improvement of women’s health.
Dame Sally is calling for better treatment of ovarian cancer and more open discussion on incontinence.
Health experts have welcomed the focus of the report, entitled Health of the 51%: Women.
Dame Sally said obesity was so serious it should be a priority for the whole population, but particularly for women because too often it shortened their lives.
In England in 2013, 64% of women aged 34-44 and 71% of women aged 45-54 were classified as overweight or obese.
Dame Sally highlighted the fact that women had to look after their physical and mental health during pregnancy for the sake of their children and grandchildren.
A woman’s overall health during pregnancy also has an impact on the health of the child in later life, the report said.
Dame Sally said she wanted to “bust the myth” that women should eat for two when pregnant, adding a healthy diet with fruit and vegetables and avoiding alcohol was important.
In her report, Dame Sally highlighted the need for early diagnosis and treatment of eating disorders, such as anorexia, bulimia and binge-eating, which are more common in women than men.
She recommended that everyone with an eating disorder should have access to a new and enhanced form of psychological therapy, available online, called CBT-E, which is specifically designed to treat any eating disorder.
This should be available to all age groups across the country, she said.
The report also aims to “break the taboo” over health problems such as post-natal incontinence or the menopause.
“Problems ‘below the waist’ are not generally seen as attractive topics for public discussion, and women are often reluctant to seek help for common disabling conditions,” Dame Sally added.
“This needs to end – women should never suffer in silence.”
It also called for a “national audit of ovarian cancer” to boost survival rates.