Sir, There has been a raft of media reports over recent weeks about the dangers of obesity. Ironically, the issue has ballooned out of all control.

The National Health Survey shows that since 2003 the average BMI in the UK has remained steady, so dire projections have no foundation. High-quality research by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in the US, meanwhile, has shown conclusively that those in the BMI overweight range have greater life expectancy and better health than those with a normal BMI. Despite numerous attempts, the critics have been unable to undermine these results which have been repeatedly confirmed in other countries.

Furthermore, physical fitness plays a crucial role in life expectancy. It has definitely been established that a fat fit person is much healthier than a thin unfit person.

There is no evidence to show that losing weight is beneficial to health indeed it may well do more harm than good. In order to achieve optimum health and life expectancy the emphasis should be on physical fitness.

It really is time we had an independent evaluation of our public health policies, which takes into account all the relevant research and provides a sound basis for future strategies. The basis for our current public health policies should be subject to an immediate thorough review conducted by people who are genuinely independent and objective.

Verner Wheelock, Verner Wheelock Associates