Six out of 10 people in the UK are overweight or obese

This National Obesity Action Month make a change to improve your health

Being overweight or obese is linked to a wide range of health problems; by reducing your weight by 5-10% you can significantly reduce the risk of heart disease, stroke, Type 2 diabetes and some cancers (British Nutrition Foundation, 2017).

This National Obesity Action Month, which begins on 1st May, encourages the nation to make healthier choices and seek psychological support to tackle people’s expanding waistlines.

The resulting NHS costs attributable to an overweight and obese nation are projected to reach £9.7 billion by 2050. Weight management company, LighterLife, has been passionately campaigning for fresh and intelligent thinking to resolve the obesity crisis for over 25 years.

Telling people to eat less and move more is not working – a more comprehensive approach is needed. The Government’s advisory body, the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE), has asked healthcare professionals including GPs, England’s Clinical Commissioning Groups (CCGs) and Scottish Health Boards to provide four tiers of support to the obese. Tier 3 offers talking therapies, to help people identify the reasons behind why they overeat.

A freedom of information request was sent to 225 CCGs and health boards in the UK to find out what services were available for the obese in their local area. 19 per cent of CCGs and Health Boards advised they weren’t helping the obese at all!

LighterLife Medical Director Dr Matt Capehorn, who also runs RIO which is an NHS centre for the management of weight problems, explains:

“More than 65% of the population is carrying extra weight. As a society, we have become so accepting of this fact that most people can no longer recognise when someone is overweight or obese.

“Being obese shortens lives and puts people at a significantly increased risk of illnesses such as heart disease, Type 2 diabetes and cancer, to list just a few. Doctors, health practitioners and consultants all need to make it clear to patients when their weight is an issue.

“This National Obesity Action Month we are urging people to visit centres to check their waist circumference as well as blood pressure and BMI. Even a 5% weight loss can cut the risks of developing some of the diseases associated with being overweight or obese”.

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