Kick start a healthier lifestyle

Healthier lifestyle

According to the Health Survey for England 2019, nearly two thirds of adults in the UK are either overweight or living with obesity.

The pandemic hasn’t really helped the situation with a third (35%) of people reported as snacking on unhealthy food and drinks at least once a day. That’s up from 26% on this time last year. The change is reflected in recent sales data that showed an increase of around 15% in sales of take-home snack foods including confectionery and biscuits.

To help, Public Health England has launched a major Better Health new year campaign to support adults to take up healthier habits in 2021.

The good news is that in a survey of over 5,000 adults, eight in ten (80%) aged 18+ have made the active decision to make changes to their lifestyle in 2021, with seven in 10 (68%) saying they are motivated to make healthier lifestyle changes due to coronavirus.

Around 6 million adults aged 40 - 60 said they plan to eat more healthily (40%), lose weight (39%) and exercise more (41%). Evidence shows that being obese significantly increases your chance of being admitted to intensive care with COVID-19 compared to those with a healthy BMI.

The body mass index (BMI) is a measure that uses your height and weight to work out if your weight is healthy; it is calculated by dividing an adult's weight in kilograms by their height in metres squared. For example, A BMI of 25 means 25kg/m2.

BMI considers natural variations in body shape, giving a healthy weight range for a particular height. To be a healthy weight you should aim to have a BMI below 25 and above 18.5, although your ethnic group can also affect your risk of some health conditions and NICE recommends that people from black, Asian and minority ethnic groups (BAME) should aim to have a BMI below 23 and above 18.5 to reduce risk to health.

Waist size also matters

The NHS website says this is a good way to check you’re not carrying too much fat around your stomach, which can raise your risk of heart disease, type 2 diabetes and strokes. You can have a healthy BMI and still have excess tummy fat, meaning you are still at risk of developing these conditions.

To measure your waist:

  1. Find the bottom of your ribs and the top of your hips.
  2. Wrap a tape measure around your waist midway between these points.
  3. Breathe out naturally before taking the measurement.

Regardless of your height or BMI, you should try to lose weight if your waist is:

  • 94cm (37ins) or more for men
  • 80cm (31.5ins) or more for women

You're at very high risk and should contact a GP if your waist is:

  • 102cm (40ins) or more for men
  • 88cm (34ins) or more for women

Most people gain weight over a long period of time, but modern life doesn’t always make it easy and for some there comes a time when they’ve tried all diets and made the lifestyle changes to help them lose weight but without much success, or with a clear yo-yo weight regain pattern.

“It becomes quite clear to them that they need a more definitive and powerful tool, which is what weight loss surgery offers,” said Ahmed Hamouda, the lead bariatric surgeon at Benenden Hospital.

A patient can book an initial no-obligation consultation simply by calling the Private Patient Team on 01580 363158 and at that first meeting Mr Hamouda or a member of the team will carry out a full assessment including medical, dietary and medication history.

The various procedures are discussed and the most suitable option, tailored to an individual’s specific situation is chosen. A streamlined pre-assessment follows and once all the boxes are ticked, they attend the hospital for their surgery and usually spend one, or two nights, convalescing.

Patients are discharged with all the necessary medication and continue to see the bariatric surgery team throughout the follow up period.

With more than a decade of experience, Mr Hamouda is one of the few surgeons offering the full spectrum of weight loss procedures including gastric balloon, gastric band, gastric sleeve, and gastric bypass in its various forms and soon the hospital will introduce the endoscopic sleeve to the list of options.

For more information, or to book a consultation, complete our online form or call our Private Patient team on 01580 363158.

Published on 29 January 2021