Obesity Billboards Get A Huge Backlash

A new campaign by a leading cancer charity has come under scrutiny after the adverts liken obesity to smoking, despite new statistics revealing that obesity is now a leading cause of cancer. 

According to the new statistics by Cancer Research UK, obese people outnumber those who smoke in the country by two to one. 

The figures also reveal almost a third of adults are now obese, while smoking is still the biggest cause of preventable cancers, their analysis revealed that being obese trumps smoking in the cause of the deadly disease. 

They state, there are over 1,400 more causes of kidney cancer than smoking each year, 1,900 more causes of bowel cancer, 460 of ovarian cancer and 180 of liver cancer. 

Michelle Mitchell, chief executive at Cancer Research UK, defended the campaign and said that, something needs to be done about the rise in obesity. “As smoking rates fall and obesity rates rise, we can clearly see the impact on a national health crisis when the Government puts policies in place – and when it puts its head in the sand.”

It is clear the charity did not mean to be malicious, they have used a previous campaign, which was successful, to highlight another cause of cancer and start another tough conversation. 

Obesity is an increasing issue in society which cannot be pinned down to one factor. Causes of obesity can range from lack of exercise, to poverty and even social class. 

Healthy foods and diets that can prevent obesity can be hard to come by and members of society cannot always afford to make these lifestyle decisions which can stop obesity. 

There are various issues which need to be tackled before we start talking about obesity, or weight problems in general but obesity is usually the main focal point.

We need to look at the accessibility of fatty foods, the cost of nutritious foods such as fruit and vegetables, as well as households incomes for those mostly affected by obesity because this is an issue which mostly affects the most deprived families. 

Mellissa Dzinzi
Mellissa Dzinzi was born in Zimbabwe but raised in Leeds. She is a reporter who has written for the national papers as well as having broadcast experience. Her interests range from lifestyle and beauty to gender relations and culture.

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