The 74-year-old, whose book A Brief History of Time appeared in the best-seller list for a ground-breaking 237 weeks, has tackled what he has called one of the “most serious public health problems of the 21st century.”
The academic, who is Director of Research at the Centre for Theoretical Cosmology at the University of Cambridge and suffers from motor neurone disease, made his comments to the Swedish non-profit organisation Gen-Pep, which promotes health to young people and children, in an online video.
Professor Hawking said: “At the moment, humanity faces a major challenge and millions of lives are in danger.
“As a cosmologist, I see the world as a whole and I am here to address one of the most serious public health problems of the 21st century.”
He added: “Today too many people die from complications related to overweight and obesity. We eat too much and move too little.”
Professor Hawking, who holds the Presidential Medal of Freedom, said the solution is simple. He explained “more physical activity and change in diet” and said the idea was “not rocket science”.
The video, posted on the organisation’s Facebook page, said that physical inactivity is the fourth leading cause of death in the world, and cited figures that indicated that 80 per cent of the wold’s adolescent population was not active enough.
According to the World Health Organization (WHO), overweight people face a higher risk of a number of health concerns, including diabetes, cardiovascular diseases, and cancer.