Obesity in women should be treated as a "national risk" according to the Chief Medical Officer.
Professor Dame Sally Davies released her annual report for 2014 – which for the first time focuses on the health of England's female population.
She said action is needed to "empower women & their families to live healthier lives", warning that obesity could impact down the generations.
"I'm calling on the Government to elevate obesity to a national risk," Dame Sally said.
The national risk register of civil emergencies lists priority threats to the country including terror & cyber attacks & natural hazards such as flu pandemics.
"Action is required across all of society to prevent obesity & its associated problems from shortening women's lives & affecting their quality of life," she said.
"We need to address the educational & environmental factors that cause obesity & empower women & their families to live healthier lives."
The report revealed that in 2013, more than half (54%) of women aged 34 to 44 & almost two-thirds of women (62%) aged 45 to 54 were classified as overweight or obese.
Dr David Richmond, president of the Royal College of Obstetricians & Gynaecologists (RCOG), said: "Present lifestyle factors such as maternal obesity, poor diet & nutrition, lack of physical activity, high levels of alcohol consumption, smoking & poor sexual health are the ticking time bomb that can dramatically impact upon a woman's fertility & increase the risk of pregnancy complications …"
The report moreover aims to "break the taboo" over health problems such as post-natal incontinence or the menopause.
"Problems 'below the waist' are not generally seen as attractive topics for public discussion, & women are often reluctant to seek assist for usual disabling conditions," Dame Sally added.
"This needs to end – women should never suffer in silence."
It moreover called for a "national audit of ovarian cancer" to boost survival rates.
Source: “Sky News”