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Obesity

The most recent obesity statistics in the UK show around 67.1% of men and 57.2% of women are overweight or obese equating to one quarter of the population. It has been predicted that, by 2050, 60% of men and 50% of women will be obese. The obesity crisis has put a huge strain on public resources, with health services struggling to cope with the long-term obesity effects on a significant portion of the population. In response, countless weight loss incentives have emerged trying to aid people in improving their health through dieting and fitness.

There has been a growing need for clinically proven obesity treatments to help deal with the issue and there has been an increase in the number of people looking at surgical options. Recent statistics show that the demand of gastric band surgery on the NHS is far higher than availability. Ideally though, weight loss will occur in most people before the reach a stage where surgical options are required.

What has been particularly alarming is the growing problem of childhood obesity, with some children arriving to their first day of school already overweight or clinically obese. This has proven too many that what we are facing is not just an issue reserved to just a few individuals but a growing social problem that requires large scale targeted action by government health bodies.

What is obesity?

Obesity is not a description of someone's physical appearance in comparison to preconceived ideas about what a healthy person should look like. Rather, it is a phrase used to describe someone who is most at risk of developing long-term health complications due to obesity and excessive weight.

Medical professionals across the world use a scale called BMI to designate who falls into the at risk category. If you are above 25, you are considered overweight, whilst anything over 30 is classed as obese. There are exceptions to this rule, but generally if your BMI is this high then urgent action to lose weight is required.

Obesity health risks

There are a number of long term health risks associated with obesity in adults and some of them cannot be reversed once they reach a certain point, meaning that entering into a weight loss management plan to control obesity sooner rather than later is crucial. Common health risks of obesity are shown below.

  • Type 2 Diabetes - This is a lifelong condition that can be caused by lifestyle choices like diet and a lack of exercise
  • Coronary Heart Disease - This is currently the leading cause of death in the UK
  • Cancer - A severely overweight person is more likely to develop certain cancer types

Managing obesity

The primary method for losing weight involves lifestyle changes. Improving your diet and engaging in regular exercise is the first and most important weight loss strategy and doctors will always suggest this first unless other factors would limit the success of these changes. Combining a good diet and with regular exercise, and especially cardio exercise, is likely to have a positive effect, especially in situations where the patient has been living a docile or sedentary lifestyle until they make the change.

Prescription weight loss treatment is also available to help in weight loss when these changes do not produce the required results; a treatment like Xenical, for example, has been clinically proven to aid weight loss in many cases.

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