Currently more than half the population is obese and campaigners say that number will reach crisis point in 2040, 10 years earlier than predicted.

Seven years ago a report was released saying that by 2050, the health epidemic would be costing the nation nearly £50 billion a year, but the new predictions say this will occur a decade earlier.

The forum have said that the country must pour resources into awareness campaigns in order to reverse the dangerous trend and they have called on GPs to discuss and keep track of their patients’ weight at an earlier age.

Chairman of the National Obesity Forum, Professor David Haslam, explained: “Not only is the obesity situation not improving, but the doomsday scenario set out in that report might underestimate the true scale of the problem.”

He added: “We’ve seen hard-hitting campaigns against smoking and it’s time to back up the work that’s already being done with a similar approach for obesity.”

Professor Kevin Fenton, who is the director of health and wellbeing at Public Health England, said that they are “committed to helping to tackle obesity” and added that “everyone has a role to play in improving the health and wellbeing of the public.”