Obesity is a major problem in the UK, including among children.
Today, about two-thirds of adults are overweight, and half of those are obese.
One in three children leaves primary school overweight and one in five is obese.
And the concern is that childhood behaviors carry over into adult life.
Obesity is worse in the UK’s most deprived areas and people of certain ethnic backgrounds are at higher risk of disease if they become obese.
What is the obesity crisis?
The numbers speak for themselves.
More adults in the UK are overweight than a healthy weight, and children aren’t much better off either.
Prime Minister Boris Johnson said in the summer of 2021 Britain had a “national fight against obesity”.
This costs the NHS billions every year as obesity contributes to cases of diabetes, at least 12 types of cancer, cardiovascular disease and more.
The government has devised new strategies to deal with the crisis once and for all after years of failing to do so.
What is obesity?
There are many ways in which a person’s health can be classified.
Obesity can be measured by comparing your height to your weight. This is the most widely used tool for assessing whether someone is overweight, called the body mass index (BMI).
A person’s BMI is calculated based on age, gender, height, weight and activity level.
For most adults, a BMI between 18.5 and 24.9 is healthy, 25 to 29.9 is overweight, 30 to 39.9 is obese, and 40 or above is severely obese.
Remember that BMI does not take into account muscle and fat. Therefore, a very heavy, muscular person can get an obese score.
Excess fat is the determining factor in determining whether someone is obese.
A better way to measure fat to support a BMI wound is waist size.
In general, 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 health problems, says the NHS.
For children, doctors use BMI percentile charts. The charts are available from the Royal College of Paediatrics and Child Health if you wish to assess your child’s weight.
Children grow at different rates and may look different than their friends.
But your child may be obese if you notice they’re eating as much as you are, wearing clothes made for older children, or struggling with fitness.
Is obesity a disease?
You may not have heard that obesity is called a disease. But many leading organizations and experts see it that way.
For example, the World Health Organization has considered obesity a disease since 1936.
The main argument for using this classification is that it can encourage people to seek treatment for their “condition”.
The causes of obesity are complex.
If cutting calories were that easy, no one would be obese.
While overeating and sedentary lifestyle are the main drivers, there are often underlying thought processes that must first be challenged in order to change eating habits.
Genetics, your environment (e.g. how many fast food places are in your neighborhood), medical conditions and their treatment, and behaviors learned from childhood are the main reasons people are the size they are.
Reasons why obesity is not considered a disease include that it can lead people to shirk personal responsibility.
This, in turn, could discourage people from taking an active role in trying to lose weight.
Does alcohol affect your weight?
Alcohol isn’t a direct cause of obesity, but it certainly doesn’t help.
The World Health Organization found Britain is now the third fattest nation in Europe – and it’s thought Britain’s drinking problem is linked to that.
Alcohol consumption in the UK is among the highest in Europe, meaning Brits drink more than the average European.
The reason alcohol is so bad for your waistline is because it’s made from sugar or starch and is “empty calories” — meaning they have no nutritional value.
Drinking also reduces the amount of fat your body burns for energy.
An average pint of beer or glass of wine has the same amount of calories as a large slice of pizza – a whopping 200 calories.
And if you drink several of these in any given week, you’ll accumulate hundreds of thousands of calories over the course of a year.
That’s before you consider blenders with high-sugar and high-calorie liquors, drunk or hungover foods, and sedentary lifestyles.
According to Alcohol Focus Scotland, the average wine drinker in the UK consumes around 2,000 calories from alcohol every month. Six pints of lager a week equates to 4,300 calories a month — the equivalent of eating 23 donuts.
But people who are obese don’t necessarily drink alcohol, and those who are heavy drinkers aren’t necessarily overweight.
How to prevent obesity in children and adults?
To prevent obesity as an adult, you need to eat a healthy, balanced diet rich in fruits and vegetables, fiber, protein, dairy and carbohydrates.
You don’t have to cut out sugar, salt and fat to prevent obesity – the NHS has guidelines on how much you can eat a day – but eating foods high in these will lead to weight gain.
It’s also important to stay active no matter your age.
Try adding 150 minutes of moderate activity (e.g., walking or biking) with two strength training sessions each week.
Good diet and exercise don’t just prevent you from carrying extra fat. It reduces the risk of diseases that can be deadly, including cancer, heart disease, and diabetes.
There are many simple steps that can be taken to prevent childhood obesity.
This includes respecting your child’s appetite and not insisting that they eat their meal if they don’t want to. This ensures that they only eat when they are hungry.
Children lead by example, so introduce healthy habits to the whole family, not just your child.
Food shouldn’t be used as a reward or punishment, experts say.
At least 60 minutes of exercise per day is also recommended, along with more sleep and less screen time.
Other steps include providing kid-sized portions and healthy snacks, cutting out high-calorie foods, and swapping sugary drinks for water.
What is the government doing to prevent obesity?
The government is keen on tackling obesity and will present a strategy in summer 2020.
It said the Covid pandemic was a wake-up call to make Brits healthier and fitter.
The strategy includes:
- Expanding weight management services across the NHS so more people can get free help
- Access to diet apps and weight loss plans, and incentives to encourage people to exercise, such as B. Money
- Enforcing calories on restaurant menus while advising on legislation to add them to alcohol bottle labels
- Ban on junk food ads on TV before 9 p.m
- Restricting “two-for-one” junk food promotions and placing such foods at checkout counters in supermarkets
In the summer of 2021, the NHS Digital Weight Management Program was launched, backed with £12m in government funding.
It provides free online support via referrals from GPs and primary care teams for adults living with them obesity.
Alongside this, £30million will be given to councils to help residents sign up to keep their weight down an attempt to slim down the nation.
Children in 11 areas across England have been specifically asked for extra help to shed the pounds – Barking and Dagenham, Brent, Enfield, Hounslow and Waltham Forest, Birmingham, Liverpool, Bradford, Tameside, Sandwell and Kingston Upon Hull.
It comes after the government introduced a sugar taxwhich went into effect in April 2018 to encourage companies to reduce the amount of sweeteners they add to soft drinks.
Under this legislation, drinks with more than 8g of sugar per 100ml are taxed at 24p per litre. Drinks of 5-8g are taxed at 18p per litre.
Research has shown that since the tax was introduced, the amount of sugar bought by each household has fallen by 30g per week (about seven sugar cubes), which is about 10 percent.
https://www.thesun.ie/health/2488485/what-is-obesity-crisis-how-prevent-childhood/ What is the UK obesity crisis, how does alcohol affect our weight and how to prevent childhood obesity