GPs will be asked to identify patients who are putting on weight under a new national programme to help fight obesity.
Simon Stevens, the head of the NHS, said it was time for Britain to “get back in shape” in order to protect millions of people from a host of obesity-related diseases.
Under the scheme, family doctors will be asked to identify anyone who has gained weight and is at risk of diabetes – particularly those aged below 40.
They will then be offered tests for pre-diabetes, followed by healthy lifestyle advice and close monitoring to ensure they are eating better and exercising more.
It comes as new figures show Britain is now the second fattest nation in Europe, with almost 25 per cent of Britons classified as obese – compared with a European average of 16.7 per cent.