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The UK has now emerged as the third fattest nation in Europe, with two in three people overweight, a World Health Organisation (WHO) report showed.

The two other countries that ranked above Britain are Malta and Turkey.

Research on 53 countries, involving 900 million people, showed that not only is Britain up on the obesity league tables, it is also the “world champions” for alcohol consumption. And this could be a huge contributor to Britain’s obesity rates.

On average, Britons drink 10.7 litres of pure alcohol a year, compared with a European average of 8.6.

Dr Claudia Stein, director of the division of Information, Evidence, Research and Innovation, WHO Regional Office for Europe, said the trends threatened to “jeopardise life expectancy” of millions and obesity is liked to a host of medical issues, including diabetes and heart disease.

“Adults’ alcohol consumption is a huge contributor to obesity, and Britain has overtaken the European average,” she warned, according to the Telegraph. “We hold the horrible world record of being the world champions in alcohol consumption. That’s not good and its especially not good for the next generation,” she said.

Tam Fry, from the National Obesity Forum, said: “The UK is third from bottom on the WHO’s list because for two decades successive UK governments have done virtually nothing to confront an increasing obesity epidemic.”

He also pointed out that millions of children were so overweight they were doomed to die before their parents. He has urged adults to control their drinking habits that are fuelling obesity.

“Adults forget just how many calories are contained in alcohol and heavy drinkers certainly will have little idea that they could be knocking back a quarter of their recommended daily calorie allowance before even touching a bite to eat.”