A giant 'fatberg' statue as tall a bus was installed on London's South Bank today (16 January). The 12ft wide and 10ft high monstrosity is part of a campaign to encourage Brits to seriously think about their physical health after a festive period of indulgence, a time when public health is often at it's worst.
Fatbergs are large masses of solid waste found in a sewerage system. They build up over time, formed from fat and oil disposed of down a sink, and nondegradable personal products such as sanitary napkins, wet wipes, condoms and diapers that have been flushed down toilets and do not break down.
The statue was created by preventative healthcare service Thriva, a company which offers at-home finger prick blood tests and analyses the results. The fatberg monument was a visual representation of the state of our health according to Thriva's co-founder, Hamish Grierson.
Although not a real fatberg, the statue has been coated with caul fat, the membrane encasing the internal organs of an animal.
Grierson told IBTimes UK that the installation was meant to shock Londoners and the greasy waste of a fatberg was much like the health problems - such as weight gain and cholesterol increase - that the general population are experiencing.
On average, UK adults put on 4.41lbs during the festive period, according to research carried out by company. In addition, one in ten find themselves half a stone heavier in January than the month before. This equates to a collective national weight gain of 131,296 tonnes - equivalent to the bulk of 17,000 cars or the HMS Queen Elizabeth.
Recent estimates show that six in 10 Brits have raised or abnormal blood cholesterol, over 4 million UK residents currently live with diabetes and another 7 million are estimated to have prediabetes.
The survey of 2,000 British adults also found that 56% of Brits drink to excess in December. In addition, one in five confess to having a social cigarette, and 10% enjoy a cigar at some point over the holidays.
But whilse 80% of adults are worried about the consequences of this on their physical appearance, just over half are concerned about the effect on their internal health. Thriva's hope is that their new installation will change that.