As a nation, we are unhealthy. I could take my pick of any kind of statistic to illustrate this: that one in three adults in the UK have high blood pressure, that only 1 in 10 children eats the recommended ‘5 a day’, that a quarter of adults in the UK are clinically obese.
The health risks posed by obesity, and the scale of the problem in the UK, are widely acknowledged. But at the other end of the spectrum, there’s worry too. The pressures on young women to look good have been well documented, and a marked increase in eating disorders (up by 15% since 2000) is frequently blamed on our image-obsessed society. And here we have a dichotomy: we’re unhealthy, unfit, and overweight, whilst at the same time a growing proportion of the population is starving themselves in pursuit of the unobtainable perfect body.