OBESITY is a condition which affects one in every four adults in the UK, but how do you know if you are obese? How is obesity measured?
There are calls for obesity to be recognised as a disease rather than a lifestyle choice, industry officials have said. The Royal College of Physicians (RCP) said it was necessary for the government to recognise the overweight condition as a disease in order for people to receive specialist care in an effort to reduce their weight. Obesity is thought to affect around one in every four adults in the UK, and roughly one in five children aged 10 to 11.
How do you know if you’re obese?
The most common way to define if someone is obese is the body mass index (BMI).
BMI is a measure of whether you’re a healthy weight for your height, according to the NHS.
If you have a BMI of 30 to 39.9 it means you are obese, anything 40 or above means you are severely obese.
However BMI is not a definitive guide to judging obesity, as someone who is muscular can have a high BMI but does not have excess fat.But for the most people it is a useful indication of obesity.
Another way of measuring obesity it to measure someone’s waist circumference.
Men with a waist circumference of 94cm or more and a woman with a was it of 80cm or more are more likely to develop obesity-related health problems.
RCP president professor Andrew Goddard said it was important to reclassify obesity to “remove the stigma” associated with the overweight condition.
The UK is in fact the most obese country in western Europe.
NHS Digital statistics shows the health service spends around £6bn a year treating obesity and the condition is responsible for more than 30,000 deaths a year.
In 2015, 63 percent of adult were classified as being overweight.
The reclassification would allow the creation of formal healthcare policies to improve care both in doctors’ surgeries, and hospitals and allow the introduction of preventative measures.
As well as encouraging prevention, treatment and greater empathy with patients, the RCP wants “to see a change to public discourse about, so that those with the condition are no longer blamed for it”.