We all know that trying to lose weight is very difficult and patients who are overweight often get stigmatised. Being overweight is a common problem in the UK, that’s estimated to affect 1 in every 4 adults and 1 in every 5 children, aged 10 to 11.
Although your body mass index (BMI) is not accurate for all individuals, (eg athletes) it is useful to give an approximation of your weight appropriate to your height. BMI is also used across the NHS when enabling patients to access weight loss services. It is felt that having a healthy improves your chance of having a longer and healthier life.
The link below enables you to calculate your BMI and the table indictaes what is a healthy BMI.
Patients with higher BMIs are more at risk of diabetes. The website below will help you work out your risk of diabetes based on your waist circumference and BMI.
Obesity, which is a BMI over 30, is now recognised by The World Health organisation as a chronic disease, similar to diabetes or high blood pressure.
- Causes of Obesity
- Risks of Being Overweight
- Benefits of Losing Weight
- Effect of Exercise
- Services Available
There are felt to be multiple causes of obesity including:
- Genetics if your parents have been overweigh you may have a tendency to gain weight
- Metabolic Set Point – where your body sets itself at a certain weight and will do everything it can to maintain that weight- this can often explain the ‘yo-yo’ dieting phrase where you lose weight, keep it off for a while but then regain it and possibly more.
- Psychological factors – stress/depression/anxiety
- Fat tissue biology
- In-utero environment
- Social Factors – with poverty being the biggest risk factor
- Some medications
This will obviously depend on your ethnic background, age and family history. Overall, however, there are increased risks of heart disease, liver disease, type 2 diabetes and cancer with obesity being the second biggest cause of cancer.
- 5-10% weight loss can improve your blood pressure, cholesterol, menstrual cycle and fertility
- 10-15% weight loss can improve your mobility, sleep apnoea and urinary incontinence
As obesity is a disease of chronic ongoing inflammation reducing the risk can also lead to improvement with joint pains and inflammatory conditions
There are also non health benefits including more energy, moving around with less discomfort and improved mobility.
There is universal evidence that physical activity is a good thing for health. It has been shown that physical activity, in the amount that most people will manage, is not effective for weight loss but is crucial in weight maintenance. It also has many other health benefits including reducing your risk of cardiovascular disease/stroke and osteoporosis.
Below are some websites that give some advice and guidance:
There are free services available on the NHS that can help you at every stage of your journey
Services available for Diabetic patients or patients with high blood pressure
Are you diabetic/HTN?:
Is your BMI > 30
If so, you are eligible for Weight Watchers / Slimming World vouchers through Live Well Dorset:
Would you qualify for our Tier 3 services?
- ≥35kg/m2 in the presence of diabetes and/or other significant co-morbidities
- AND where tier 2 interventions have been unsuccessful.
- Tier 3 Weight Management Service Patient Information Leaflet