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Recent research has revealed that just 18 per cent of the UK population adhere to government guidelines for calorie consumption.

The study, conducted by Friends Provident and the Future Foundation, also found that only 19 per cent of people get the recommended amount of exercise while just 34 per cent stick to the guidelines concerning alcohol consumption.

A representative from the British Dietetic Association suggested that more education is required to prevent people from becoming obese.

"The key issue is the prevention of obesity in the first instance through good nutrition, robust patient care and investing in dieticians whose expertise can have a positive impact on a population's health," said the spokesman.

According to the NHS Information Centre, almost a quarter of adults (24 per cent of men and 25 per cent of women) in England were classified as obese in 2008.

The figures also revealed that more children who were classed as obese spent four hours or more doing sedentary activities on a week day than children who were classed as not overweight or obese.

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