LONDON DM - Two thirds of middle-aged men will be obese within 20 years if current trends continue, a new report predicts.

Public Health England (PHE) forecasts that 63 per cent of men in their fifties will be obese by 2034, and 38 per cent of women of the same age will also be overweight.

Its latest report, which gives a long-term projection into the lifestyle choices which affect the nation’s health, also predicts that one in three people will be obese by 2034. At present, 62 per cent of adults in Britain are overweight or obese. The number of children who are obese doubles from reception age to Year Six.

According to the report, one in ten people will develop type two diabetes due to their weight within the next two decades if current trends continue.

However, if obesity levels were reduced to what they were in 1993, more than five million cases of disease could be prevented, the body said.

According to the report, the nation will be 35 per cent less active in 2030 than in 1961, putting people at increased risk of type two diabetes, heart attacks, strokes, cancer and other weight-related diseases.

The report also states that alcohol-related deaths have doubled over the last 20 years and alcohol and obesity are now the leading causes of liver disease - the only major disease in the UK for which mortality is still increasing.

Duncan Selbie, chief executive of PHE said: ‘We have an ambition: for people of this country to live as well as possible, for as long as possible.

 ‘But on current trends, we are going to fall short because we face an epidemic of largely preventable long-term diseases.

‘We may be living longer, but we – and future generations – risk spending many of these extra years in poor health unless we do a better job of tackling major risks such as obesity, poor diet, physical inactivity, smoking, and excessive alcohol consumption.’

The report comes after PHE warned that the UK is now even worse than America for inactivity – with half of women and a third of men moving so little in their daily lives that they are exposing themselves to diseases earlier in life.

Earlier this week, PHE confirmed that one in six deaths every year in Britain are directly due to inactivity. It equates to about 84,500 in England and Wales – a very similar number to the number of deaths attributed to smoking.

It also said that 63 per cent of adults do not take the recommended amount of exercise of two and a half hours over the course of a week.

This compares to 18 per cent in the Netherlands, 28 per cent in Germany, 33 per cent in France and 41 per cent in the U.S. Figures show the UK’s average levels of exercise are a fifth lower than in the 1960s and the worst in the Western world.