The Government is concerned about the levels of obesity in this country. The latest Health Survey for England (HSE) data shows us that nearly 1 in 4 adults, and over 1 in 10 children aged 2-10, are obese.
In 2007, the Government-commissioned Foresight report predicted that if no action was taken, 60% of men, 50% of women and 25% of children would be obese by 2050.
Obesity can have a severe impact on people’s health, increasing the risk of type 2 diabetes, some cancers, and heart and liver disease.
There is also a significant burden on the NHS – direct costs caused by obesity are estimated to be £4.2 billion per year and forecast to more than double by 2050 if we carry on as we are.
Increased weight is caused by increased energy intake (from food and drink), decreased physical activity or a combination of both. As well as increasing their energy intake, people are also spending more time doing activities that involve little movement such as watching television, playing computer games and travelling in cars.
People are also spending less time playing organized sport and doing other physical activities such as walking or cycling to school.
Around 20-25 per cent of Australian children do not do enough physical activity to benefit their health. In 2000, 56 per cent of Queensland children participated in organized sport, which was lower than the national average of 59 per cent. More than half of adult Queenslanders (52 per cent) are not doing enough physical activity to achieve a health benefit
A certain amount of body fat is necessary for insulation, protection of the organs, energy, and natural body functions. However, excess body fat can become dangerous.
Most health care providers agree that men with more than 25 percent body fat and women with more than 30 percent body fat are obese.
Having a lot of body fat isn’t the sole reason for concern. Most health care providers are also concerned with where the fat is located. If you carry fat mainly around your waist (apple shape), you are more likely to develop obesity-related health problems, since the fat is located closer to your heart.
Women with a waist measurement of more than 35 inches or men with a waist measurement of more than 40 inches have a higher health risk because of their fat distribution.
Taking in more calories than one uses
• Oversized food portions
• Lack of access to healthy foods
• Lack of physical activity
• Genes and family history
• Hormonal imbalance, medications, pregnancy, emotional factors
Before you begin treatment, decide if you are ready to make the lifestyle changes needed to lose weight. Losing weight and maintaining weight loss can be hard. And it may be hard to find the motivation if you have lost and regained weight several times. Think about successes that you had before and how you were able to achieve them.
If you are not ready to make the changes to lose weight, your doctor may suggest that you set a goal to not gain any more weight or set a date in the future to think again about this decision.
If you are ready, your doctor may suggest losing 10% of your weight at a rate of 1 lb (0.45 kg) to 2 lb (0.9 kg) a week as your first target. Research shows that a 10% weight loss can improve your health.1 It is better that you maintain a small amount of loss rather than lose a lot of weight fast and gain it back.