The World Health Organisation reported that worldwide obesity has nearly tripled since 1975. 39% of adults aged 18 and over were overweight and 13% were obese in 2016. This matters, because there are many consequences to one’s health, when either overweight or obese. For instance, it increases the risk of many diseases including:
- Type 2 diabetes
- High cholesterol
- High blood pressure
- Cancers like breast, prostate and colon cancer
- Sleep apnea
- Fatty liver disease
Being overweight not only effects health, but when someone does not like the way they look and feel, it effects their self-esteem and confidence (which I will discuss next week).
There are numerous reasons for the rapid increase in weight over the years, including having a sedentary lifestyle or eating less real whole fresh foods. With the busy lives we live, many of us depend on the convenience of buying packaged meals, for breakfast, snack time, lunch or dinner which tend to be high in sugar, fat and salt. This means that we are not fully aware of what we are eating, unless we carefully read the labels.
Are you overweight or obese?
A common tool used to check if you are overweight is the Body Mass Index (BMI). For most people with a BMI of 25 they are considered overweight, and for obesity it is having a BMI above 30. If you do not know what your BMI is, do visit the NHS website to calculate it.
Your shape matters too! Research done at the Institute of Preventative Medicine in Copenhagen (Source: diabetes UK) has indicated that those who have an apple shape (where they carry more weight around their stomach), are at a higher risk of these diseases. This is because the harmful visceral fat sits around the organs. So even though you may not be “overweight” according to your BMI, you should check your waist to hip ratio. This can be done at the Diabetes UK website.
You can also check your waist circumference. The NHS advises you should lose weight if you are a woman with a waist more than 80 cm or for a man if your waist is more than 94 cm.
Reducing weight has been shown to reduce the risk of some diseases
In a large clinical study, called the Diabetes Prevention Program, it was seen that by maintaining a weight loss of at least 7% and having a minimum of 150 minutes of physical activity a week, it resulted in a 58% reduction in the incidence of diabetes. And, in a separate study on the “Effects of cardiovascular risk factors of weight losses” it was seen that reducing weight resulted in lower glucose, triglycerides and cholesterol. So it is possible to make a change.
Now, if you are slightly overweight, and do be honest to yourself about this, you may be thinking, I don’t need to do anything about my weight right now, as it’s not that bad.
But, with time have you found that your clothes do not fit that well, so you either have them loosened or you buy the next size up. These simple signs are an indication that you are putting on weight and should not be ignored.
Unless you take action now, you won’t see any change, and in fact the weight will just keep creeping up.
Even though there is more awareness in the media now on living a healthier life, many people find it hard to actually do this. As a health coach, I know that my clients have some knowledge, what they find difficult, is taking action, implementing change and making it sustainable.
If you have been sitting on the fence, waiting for the right time to begin, don’t leave it too late, or it may have long term consequences on your future health.
If you would like to know how I successfully coach my clients to lose weight, send me an email or make an appointment using my online scheduler to set up a free 30-minute discovery call
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