Obesity could have a "tremendous" impact on NHS finances, an expert has warned.
According to Colin Waine, chairman of the National Obesity Forum, the impact of obesity, in particular the rising numbers of people with type-2 diabetes, could make a serious dent in the health service's budget.
He remarked: "With rates rising the way they have done in the last few years, by 2020, if the outbreak hasn't been halted and reversed, the impact on the NHS could be tremendous in that 20 per cent of the NHS' budget could be gobbled up by type-2 diabetes and its complications."
Mr Waine continued that if the government's obesity strategy "is pursued vigorously and with political courage, it could impact beneficially".
However, he noted that it will take a number of years before the benefits become apparent.
The expert also suggested that one of the main problems is that many people tend to "grossly underestimate" their size and assume that obesity will not affect them.