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Obesity Gets an Airing in British Parliament

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So much of American society is based on its British heritage that it's unusual to see something of American society become part of the United Kingdom.

It's not a desirable habit, either. Just as in the United States, the Associated Press reports, obesity has become part of the fabric of British life. So much so that UK health secretary Alan Johnson had to explain its causes in a speech to Parliament Friday.

Johnson said that 60 percent of British citizens might be obese by 2050, the A.P. reports, but he didn't so much blame obesity on bad eating habits as he did a combination of factors: "a consequence of abundance, convenience and underlying biology."

A study by a division the UK's Office for Science concludes that excess weight has become the norm in Britain, the wire service reports, with one-in-four adults considered obese, which is still better than the United States, where one-third of all adults are obese, the A.P. said.

Some of the ways to prevent obesity from taking over the Great Britain, the government says, are taking action earlier with young, overweight children; exercising control over high calorie foods; redesigning municipalities to demand more physical exertion by residents; and making employers more responsible for their workers' health.

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