Obesity – 5 Things You Need to Know



If your routine day includes struggles to avoid condescending stares from people, you are not alone. According to statistics by Health and Social Care Information Centre, 58% of women and 65% of men were obese in 2014; and two years later, the prevalence of this health problem is only increasing.

It is a commonly known fact that obesity brings with itself numerous health implications, well-being, and self-esteem issues. An obese person is at the risk of developing high blood pressure, diabetes, etc. However, there are some lesser known facts about obesity which you need to know to improve your health. So, what are they? Let’s find out.

  1. There is a difference between being obese and being overweight
    Obese and overweight are terms which are used interchangeably to describe a person’s weight. However, they mean different things. Whether a person is overweight or obese is determined by that person’s body mass index (BMI) – the ratio between weight and height. A BMI of 25 to 29.9 means that a person is overweight. A BMI of 30 or higher means that a person is obese. According to The National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence, using BMI in conjunction with weight circumference is the ideal method to measure overweight and obesity.
  1. Obesity affects children as well
    The results from the National Child Measurement Programme state that more than 1 in 5 children were measured as overweight or obese in Reception year. Similarly, in year 6, 19% of children were obese. Another survey result conducted in Birmingham and the West Midlands schools showed that over 12% of students were measured as overweight and around 10% as obese. An obese childhood is more likely to result in an obese adult.
  1. Obesity has a massive impact on the NHS
    According to an article in The Telegraph, the NHS spends more on obesity-related conditions than on the police or fire service. It further added that while fire and police services cost £13.6 billion each year, the NHS spends around £16 billion a year on medical conditions related to overweight and obesity.
  1. Snacking is linked to obesity
    For years, people have been advised to snack little and often between meals. Generally, people tend to ignore the ‘snack little’ part and focus on ‘snack often’.  A study mentioned in a Daily Mail article stated that more than 36 million people will be overweight or obese within the next decade – all thanks to the nation’s snacking habits.
  1. Hunger is in the mind
    Dr. Suzanne Higgs, a researcher in the psychology of eating at Birmingham University, carried out a study to prove it. Her team gave a group of amnesiac patients a lunch of sandwiches and cakes. Once they had finished eating, the team cleared the remnants of the meal and brought the same meal 10 minutes later. The non-amnesiacs who were in a control group refused any more food, while the amnesiac group ate the same amount again.

Similarly, when we multitask while eating, we do not give full attention to what we are eating. As a result, our brain does not register how much we are eating and we feel we haven’t had enough.

The impact of obesity, thus, is not only borne by individuals but also by society. When you fail to modify your lifestyle to a healthier alternative, you choose a tough option for your family. One positive step in the right direction is to take out a health insurance package that includes private health care and special offers to encourage exercise and improved diet. Shield yourself and your family – be insured and stay healthy.