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The question - Obesity

The House of Commons health select committee says obesity is fast becoming the nation's number one killer, having increased 400% over the past 25 years. What do you think is the answer to the UK's obesity problem?

Children and adults need to be educated in healthy eating and healthy lifestyle choices. More exercise and less time spent on computer games. There needs to be greater control over advertising (who can resist those chocolate and ice-cream ads? ). In direct answer to the question - go on a diet!

Caroline Madden, 28, civil engineer, Milton Keynes

Not being the slimmest of people myself, I think that we should leave work earlier, exercise more, and eat much less. Removing sweets and crisps from the supermarket checkouts and not selling unhealthy food in school canteens would be a good start. As would walking the children to school where possible. It all comes down to eating less and exercising more. We should be asking why we find this so difficult.

Michael Dommett, 37, engineer, London

This sad state of affairs is just another product of our consumer society. The never-ending quest for economic growth, on which our society relies, depends on dreaming up ever more obscure ways to save time. It is a Catch 22. The only solution is to slow down this economic merry-goround and concentrate on each other rather than the system.

However, we do this at the risk of provoking an economic meltdown with spiralling unemployment and the complete disappearance of those welfare state benefits we still enjoy. We just need the courage and understanding to say no, led by a government that is focussed enough to appreciate the problem.

James Markland, 47, principal technical advisor, Maputo, Mozambique

The government has to get serious about promoting the positive benefits of healthy living and fitness. That means providing public sporting facilities where they do not exist and taking a much more holistic approach to issues like nutrition and exercise. It is a crime that most people in this country do not have access to good, free, health and diet advice.

The government should supply this and build 'healthy living' centres that can deliver such advice. For starters, it should also get fully behind our bid for the 2012 Olympics and use it as a driver to implement some of these improvements.

Andy Walker (two-time London Marathon runner), 40, communications director, Bromley, Kent

How about banning cars from stopping within 400m of schools?

This might encourage more children to walk to school, cut pollution and make school entrances safer.

John Park, senior engineer, Glasgow

High profile celebrity attachment to fatty products and unhealthy foodstuffs certainly contributes to the desire to eat unhealthily, along with a lack of sports activities in schools. A large proportion of blame can also be attributed to the government sticking its head in the sand and hoping the problem will go away. Action needs to be taken to stop this, possibly even similar action that has been taken with advertising tobacco and alcohol.

Government grants could be diverted from the producers of unhealthy products.

Chris Reid, 30, project manager, Glasgow

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