What is obesity?

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In England 61.3% of the adult population is overweight or obese, along with 30% of children between the ages of 2 and 15. Scary statistics, but even more scary when you think that this means that 61.3% of the adult population have an increased risk of developing type 2 diabetes, heart disease and some cancers.

A person is considered to be obese when their body weight is 20% or more above the normal weight for their age and height. The most common scale used to check whether a person is obese is the Body Mass Index Scale.

You can calculate your BMI using the below BMI formula; results fall into categories as shown in the table below. Once a person reaches Obese Class III they are over more than 50% over their normal healthy weight range.

BMI = Mass (cm) ÷ height2 (kg) 

Category BMI Range
Very severely underweight < 15
Severely underweight 15.0 - 16.0
Underweight 16.0 - 18.5
Normal (healthy weight) 18.5 - 25
Overweight 25 - 30
Obese Class I (Moderately obese) 30 - 35
Obese Class II (Severely obese) 35 - 40
Obese Class III (Very severely obese) > 40

What causes obesity?

Generally speaking, obesity is caused by overeating. Consuming more calories than the body requires and taking little or no exercise will cause weight gain. There are however, other influences to obesity; these include age, gender, genetics, physical, psychological and environmental factors as well as illness and medication.
For example, a few years ago I was prescribed medication to help combat migraine headaches, within 6 months I had gained 2 stones in weight and couldn’t understand why it was happening. It took nearly 2 years for me to work out what was causing my expanding waistline but once I had pinpointed the medication and made the decision to stop taking it, I managed to slowly lose the weight.

Solving the obesity crisis

The Government are working hard to help with the obesity crisis in the UK. Following many campaigns in the USA there have been programs set up to help families eat healthier and exercise together. Many organisations are working hard to help people understand the health complications which come with obesity such as diabetes and heart disease.

Next steps to take

If you are concerned that your weight is getting out of control, visit your GP for more advice. There is a vast amount of help and support available and remember - It is never too late to start.
Please feel free to get in touch if you have any questions and download our healthy eating and diet plans to help you on your way.