Obesity is a medical condition in which excess body fat has accumulated to the extent that it may have a negative effect on health, leading to reduced life expectancy and/or increased health problems. The number of overweight schoolchildren in the UK is almost two million, of which about 700,000 are obese, according to a study carried out by the International Obesity Taskforce. Over 25% of girls and 20% of boys are overweight. Dieting and exercising are the main treatments for obesity.
Diet quality can be improved by reducing the consumption of energy-dense foods, such as those high in fat and sugars, and by increasing the intake of dietary fiber. Excess weight, especially obesity, is a major risk factor for cardiovascular disease, Type 2 diabetes, some musculoskeletal conditions and some cancers. As the level of excess weight increases, so does the risk of developing these conditions. In addition, being overweight can hamper the ability to control or manage chronic disorders.