"Cheap calories" compounding Britain's obesity problem

Brits are still among the fattest people in Europe, according to a new study by the Institute of Fiscal Studies (IFS).

Newly published figures have claimed that Brits are eating fewer calories now than in previous years and that total food expenditure is dropping. Despite this, increasingly sedentary lifestyles have negated the healthy eating benefits and seen Brits actually gain weight, bbc.co.uk reports.

It has been warned that this so-called "obesity epidemic", along with a lack of endorphin hits reaching the brain as a result of little or no exercise, could cause many problems beyond what is typically expected. Not only is it likely to cause a rise in heart conditions and type-2 diabetes, this issue could also cause higher levels of depression and anxiety from those feeling unable to shift the weight.

The IFS found that, since 1980, the number of food that households purchased to eat at home had fallen by 15 to 30 per cent. Meanwhile, the average food expenditure per adult dropped from £102 per month between 2007 and 2007, to £93.30 between 2010 and 2012.

All this has counted for little, however, with sedentary lifestyles and too-little exercise causing weight gain. To compound issues further, the credit crunch prompted many to seek out foods with a high calorie:low cost ratio, which are often fatty, sugary and generally unhealthy, dailymail.com has claimed.

As such, the amount of saturated fat an adult eats per day has increased by two grams over eight years. This increase alone accounts for one tenth of a woman's recommended daily allowance.