National Obesity Awareness Week

National Obesity Awareness Week

National Obesity Awareness Week is a campaign which runs from the 10 January to the 16 January. Its aim is to raise awareness of the issues caused by obesity and promotes the work of organisations such as World Obesity and The Obesity Society.

Did you know that obesity can reduce a person’s life expectancy by an average of 3 to 10 years?

The term ‘obese’ describes a person who's very overweight and has a lot of body fat. It’s estimated that obesity affects a quarter of all adults in the UK and around 1 in 5 children between the ages of 10 and 11.

The most widely used method to check if you're a healthy weight is body mass index (BMI).

For most adults, a BMI of:

  • 5 to 24.9 means you're 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 severely obese

However, do remember that BMI is not the only method used to determine obesity because muscular people can have a high BMI as muscles weigh more than fat. Waist size can be used to more accurately measure if someone is overweight. Generally, men with a waist size of 94cm or more and women with a waist size of 80cm or more have a higher chance of developing obesity-related health problems.

What are the causes of obesity?

Consuming more calories, particularly those found in sugary and fatty foods, but not burning them off through physical activity results in this excess energy being stored in the body as fat. Read our article Sit less and move more: get On Your Feet Britain! to find out how integrate more exercise into your busy schedule.

It’s important to note that there are also some underlying health conditions that can occasionally contribute to weight gain, such as an underactive thyroid gland (hypothyroidism). However, this doesn’t usually cause weight problems if they’re effectively controlled with medicines.

What are the risks of obesity?

Being obese can lead to a number of serious and potentially life-threatening conditions:

  • Type 2 diabetes
  • Coronary Heart Disease
  • Stroke
  • Some types of cancer such as breast cancer and bowel cancer
  • It can also affect your overall quality of life and lead to psychological problems, such as depression and low self-esteem

How can you treat obesity?

The best way to naturally treat obesity is to eat a healthy diet and to exercise regularly. To be fit and healthy it is recommended that you take up activities such as fast walking or swimming for 150 to 300 minutes (2.5 to 5 hours) a week.

Losing even 3% of your original body weight and working to maintain this can significantly reduce your risk of developing obesity-related complications like diabetes and heart disease.

Private weight loss procedures at Benenden Hospital

If you want to reduce the health risks associated with being overweight, increase your life expectancy and improve your mobility, we offer fast-track access to a range of permanent and reversible bariatric procedures in a safe and comfortable environment.

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

Join our weight loss surgery webinar

Find out how you can transform your life with weight loss surgery at Benenden Hospital. Register for our free webinar on 27 January with our Consultant Bariatric Surgeon, Mr Ahmed Hamouda and our experienced Surgical Care Practitioner, Maria Duckworth, to find out what's involved.

Published on 10 January 2022