Enter Prince Charles! into the obesity debate

Prince Charles has entered the obesity debate and has cautioned the British public against becoming like the 'super size' Americans.

The Prince of Wales was speaking at an event at St James’s Palace hosted by the Foundation for the Built Environment, which looks at how building design affects public wellbeing, one of his particular interests.

The foundation was the Prince's conception and aims to promote traditional urban design and architecture that puts communities at the centre of the process.

The Prince suggests that Brits are in danger of becoming as obese as many Americans because they do not walk or cycle enough.

His warning of the sharp rise in childhood obesity follows a similar one from the British Medical Association saying that Britain’s fat youngsters account for a third of all obese children in Europe, and are at high risk of developing life-threatening conditions, including diabetes and heart disease.

These concerns are backed up by the latest statistics from the Department of Health which indicate that more than 40 per cent of men and 33 per cent of women are overweight, and 20 per cent of both are obese.

The Prince partly attributes the rise in obesity to the design of modern towns and cities where walking and cycling are virtually impossible.

In support of his comments the Prince referred to research in the U.S. which has suggested there is a link link between the built environment, physical inactivity and what he coins a 'syndemic of diseases, including, childhood obesity'.

Late last year some government ministers threatened litigation if the junk food industry failed to temper advertisements during children’s television programmes and demanded the industry agree to a voluntary code.

The Prince has also called for the use of complementary medicine to tackle obesity, especially in youngsters and has backed demands for healthier, more nutritional, school meals.


The opinions expressed here are the views of the writer and do not necessarily reflect the views and opinions of News Medical.
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