BMA report

Improving the nation’s diet: action for a healthier future

To effectively respond to the public health challenge of diet-related ill health, a range of actions are required across the UK.

Location: UK
Audience: Public health doctors
Updated: Monday 18 October 2021
Topics: Population health
Public Health Article Illustration

What you will get from this report

  • BMA policies for the promotion of a healthy diet.
  • Action points for reducing obesity and poor health.
  • Key areas for reducing diet-related ill health.


Key findings

  • In the UK 63% of the adult population are overweight, and 27% are obese.
  • 20% of children are obese by the time they reach
    Year 6.
  • Obesity related diseases cost the NHS in excess of £6bn per year and are calculated to impact wider society to the tune of £27bn per year.
  • By 2050, overweight and obesity will cost the NHS an estimated £9.7bn per year, with societal costs of £49.9bn.
  • 26% of Year 6 children in the most deprived areas are obese, compared with 11% in the least deprived.
  • Introduction to obesity and diet trends in the UK.
  • Key action areas for reducing diet-related ill health.
  • BMA policies on obesity and diet.
  • Recommendations for reducing obesity and diet-related ill health.
  • Article references cited.