How can we handle Obesity in the UK?

scales (obesity)

Obesity 

More and more people are suffering from obesity and has now become a common problem in the UK.  It is estimated to affect around one in every four adults and around one in every five children aged 1-10.  This has raised dramatically in the last few years.

How can we define Obesity?

A person’s health related to their weight can be classified in many ways.  However, the most used method is Body Mass Index (BMI).  BMI shows whether you are a healthy weight for your height.  To work out your score you can use a BMI healthy weight calculator.  An example of a BMI calculator for an adult would be:  18.5 to 24.9 means you’re at a healthy weight.  25 to 29.9 means you’re overweight.  30 to 39.9 means you’re obese.  40 or above means you’re extremely obese.  Nobody can use BMI to diagnose being obese for definite, this is due to the fact that people who are muscular have a large BMI without having any excess fat.  However, for most people BMI is a good indication to whether they are at a good health or not.

What are the risks of Obesity?

It is most important to take steps to tackle obesity, due to the physical changes it can also lead to a number of serious and life-threatening conditions.  Some of these may include: Type 2 diabetes- which is a condition that causes a person’s blood sugar levels to become too high.  Heart disease, cancer and strokes.  Obesity can actually lead to affecting your quality of life and cause psychological problems such as depression and low self-esteem.

Causes of Obesity

Consuming more calories than you burn off through physical activity is a common cause of obesity.  Obesity will occur commonly if you are someone that lives a modern life which involves eating high calorie cheap food and sitting too much.  Also, there are some unexpressed health conditions that can occasionally contribute to weight gain.  An example of this could be Under Active Thyroid Gland (Hypothyroidism).  However, to decrease that suitable medication can be provided.

Treating Obesity

The main way to treat obesity is to reduce the calories from your diet, eat a healthy and balanced diet and exercise regularly.  For help changing your diet you can visit a dietitian or even join a local weight loss group.  Examples of good exercises would be fast walking, jogging and swimming.  If you were psychologically affected, if you receive support from a trained healthcare professional to encourage you to change the way you think about food and eating.

If changing your lifestyle did not work and you still have problems with your weight, seek help from your GP.  Your GP may be able to give you medication that works by decreasing the amount of fat you absorb during digestion.  When the occasion is severe weight loss surgery may be recommended.  Obesity can cause many day-to- day problems.  Some of these include:

  • Breathlessness
  • Sweating
  • Snoring
  • Struggling to exercise
  • Tiredness
  • Back pain
  • Low self esteem
  • Isolation

A lot of these problems may affect relationships with your family which can lead to depression so it is important to seek help as soon as possible.

There are many help lines in the UK to help and support people with obesity. https://www.itv.com/thismorning/weight-issues-helplines