The number of middle-aged people dying as a result of obesity in the UK has almost doubled in the last decade, according to official figures.
More than 190 people aged under 65 died as a direct result of their obesity last year - compared to just 88 in 2000.
Moreover, deaths among those aged between 46 and 55 almost tripled.
These figures suggest that obesity will soon present a bigger threat to public health than smoking.
Andrew Lansley, the shadow health secretary, urged the Government to increase their attempts to tackle the problem by increasing the warnings on fatty and unhealthy foods.
"Labour has neglected the UK's obesity time-bomb and these figures demonstrate the awful consequences of their complacency," the Telegraph quoted him as saying.
"We urgently need action now, but unfortunately this Government's record has been one of obesity targets missed and scrapped, budgets for information campaigns being raided, and dithering over food labelling.
"It is about time that the Labour Government woke up and started to take obesity seriously," he added.
The data revealed that in 2000, just 25 people aged between 46 and 55 died "where obesity was the underlying cause of death". By 2005, the number has increased to 51 and last year it was 70.
The "number of deaths where obesity was mentioned anywhere on the death certificate" rose from 121 in 2000 to 257 last year for the same age group.