Understanding your health is an important step towards living healthier. At Broadway Pharmacy with Cure Clinics we are here to ensure you have the help, medicines and clinics to help you do just that.
Here is some key information for people living with obesity and some links to further reading. Prevention is an important part of looking after yourself so we’ve provided a link to some information about preventing this condition towards the end.
If you have any queries or would like to arrange to speak with one of our pharmacist clinicians get in touch.
What is obesity?
The term obese describes a person who’s very overweight, with a lot of body fat.
It’s a common problem in the UK that’s estimated to affect around 1 in every 4 adults and around 1 in every 5 children aged 10 to 11.
The most widely used method to check if you’re a healthy weight is body mass index (BMI).
BMI is a measure of whether you’re a healthy weight for your height. You can use the NHS BMI healthy weight calculator to work out your score.
For most adults, a BMI of:
- 18.5 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
BMI is not used to diagnose obesity because people who are very muscular can have a high BMI without much fat.
But for most people, BMI is a useful indication of whether they’re a healthy weight.
A better measure of excess fat is waist size, which can be used as an additional measure in people who are overweight (with a BMI of 25 to 29.9) or moderately obese (with a BMI of 30 to 34.9).
Generally, men with a waist size of 94cm or more and women with a waist size of 80cm or more are more likely to develop obesity-related health problems.
Causes of obesity
Obesity is generally caused by consuming more calories, particularly those in fatty and sugary foods, than you burn off through physical activity. The excess energy is stored by the body as fat.
Obesity is an increasingly common problem because for many people modern living involves eating excessive amounts of cheap high-calorie food and spending a lot of time sitting down at desks, on sofas or in cars.
There are also some underlying health conditions that can occasionally contribute to weight gain, such as an underactive thyroid gland (hypothyroidism), although these types of conditions do not usually cause weight problems if they’re effectively controlled with medicines.
Risks of obesity
It’s very important to take steps to tackle obesity because, as well as causing obvious physical changes, it can lead to a number of serious and potentially life-threatening conditions.
- type 2 diabetes
- coronary heart disease
- some types of cancer, such as breast cancer and bowel cancer
Obesity can also affect your quality of life and lead to psychological problems, such as depression and low self-esteem.
For more reliable information you can take a look at the following sources:
Obesity – https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/obesity/
Diagnosis – https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/obesity/diagnosis/
Prevention and treatment – https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/obesity/treatment/
Change 4 Life
Activities – https://www.nhs.uk/change4life/activities
British Heart Foundation