The battle of the bulge is on people’s minds (not to mention tummies) once again, with The Lancet reporting this week that 2.1 billion people worldwide are obese.

“Rises in obesity rates have slowed, but no country has yet reversed the trend”

Jon Yeomans, Web Editor

Granted, rises in obesity rates have slowed in some countries, but no country has yet reversed the trend, according to the report, which draws on an array of studies from a range of institutions, and covers the period 1980-2013. It calls for “urgent global action and leadership” on the matter.

The UK didn’t fare well in the report, recording the third-highest obesity rate in Western Europe. The food and drink industry is waking up to the problem, with the government updating us this week on suppliers’ pledges made under the Responsibility Deal.

About 70% of the companies signed up to the Deal reported back on their efforts to slash calories, cut salt content and take alcohol units out of the market, while the rest are due to report back in the next few months.

But, like our response to climate change, it all feels too little, and too late. If the news that nearly 30% of the global population is now obese doesn’t spur us on to greater action, what will?