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Overweight: It's not your fault, experts say
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If you're overweight or obese, it's not your fault, UK health officials have declared

If you're overweight or obese, it's not your fault, UK health officials have declared. Obesity is now "an inevitable consequence" of the way we live our lives, with labour-saving devices, transport and sedentary work being the norm.

In fact, it's amazing that anyone is slim, says Dr Susan Jebb of the Medical Research Council. Obesity shouldn't be seen simply as a result of over-indulgence, she says. "The stress has been on the individual choosing a healthier lifestyle, that that simply isn't enough."

She was speaking after the publication of the UK's largest ever study into obesity, which was put together by 250 experts. While none could agree on the best way to tackle the problem, they all agreed it was one that was getting worse every year.

In 2002, obesity cost the UK lb7bn in treatment and state benefits, but this figure is anticipated to rise to lb46bn within 40 years.

(Source: BBC website, October 17, 2007).

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