Slimming tablets and a tape measure

Obesity

Obesity is defined as when someone has too much body fat for their height and sex. You are considered obese if you have a Body Mass Index of more than 30, and overweight if it is between 25 and 30.

You can check your BMI at the website of the charity Weight Concern: BMI Calculator

Is it dangerous to my health?

Obesity is a growing problem in the western world and it is estimated 1 in 3 adults will be obese by 2012. At the moment, 9,000 adults die each year from illnesses related to their weight. It is thought that obesity can reduce your life expectancy by up to 9 years.

If you are obese then your health is at risk. You may develop diabetes, coronary heart disease, cancer , osteoarthritis and/or lung disease. Your quality of life is also impaired, since you will have less energy, trouble sleeping, back pain and may find that you sweat a lot. For most people obesity also has a severe psychological impact and can damage their self esteem.

What can I do?

If you are struggling with your weight, then you are not alone. We mean that in both senses - millions of people are in the same position, and there are loads of different ways to get support when trying to lose weight.

First of all, it is a good idea to go and see your family doctor. They can give you information and help and may be able to offer you medical assistance in shedding the pounds.

On the web, there are lots of pages that will give you tips on everything from low-fat recipes to new exercise trends. There are also internet forums where you can talk to other people in the same situation, which you may find comforting - try www.bigmatters.co.uk who just re-launched their online forum.

There are hundreds of different products that claim to help you shed the pounds. Some work, some dont. Be careful and do your research before you buy! Weve made a list of some of the most common. Ultimately, diet and exercise are the best solutions - there really is no magic bullet.

Changing your whole lifestyle can be really tough and you don't have to do it on your own. Get your family and friends to support you as much as possible.

And dont give up - we all slip up sometimes and even if you do, you just need to keep trying!

Further info

Eating habits

If you want to lose weight, when it comes to what you eat there are three things you need to consider. Get more info

Exercise

If you need to lose a significant amount of weight, you will need to increase the levels of activity in your life. Get more info


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