Obesity Awareness

10-16 January is National Obesity Awareness Week and 13 January is Healthy Weight, Healthy Look Day. So with the excesses of Christmas rapidly disappearing in the rear view mirror perhaps now is a good time to think about dropping a little weight. The idea behind the week is to raise awareness of obesity and how it can affect our health.

According to a 2018 study by University College London (UCL) it is estimated that 22% of all people of earth with be overweight by 2045. And individual countries will have much bigger problems with the UK forecast to be 48% overweight by then.

Now that might seem a long way off, but the issue is already having an impact. The NHS (the UK health service) reported that obesity affects about one in four adults and one in five children. This can lead to serious health problems such as type 2 diabetes, heart disease, strokes and some types of cancers. While early signs of future problems include high blood pressure, high cholesterol and access fat around organs such as the heart and liver.

Being overweight can also impact your quality of life. From body image issues causing anxiety and low self-esteem to physical limitations such as breathlessness, increased sweating as well as joint and back pain.

Now, fad and extreme diets are rarely successful, but I think they do have their place. If you have a special event coming up and you want to lose a few pounds then eating nothing but pineapple might be the diet for you. But for a diet to really work it has to be a permanent change otherwise the weight will return. And small changes can have a big impact over time.

As Marcus Samuelsson (Ethiopian-born Swedish-American Chef) said, “We struggle with eating healthily, obesity, and access to good nutrition for everyone. But we have a great opportunity to get on the right side of this battle by beginning to think differently about the way that we eat and the way that we approach food”. So, take an honest look at what you eat and how active you are. Perhaps you could eat a little healthier and avoid snacks. When do you snack and why? Do you need to have a biscuit every time you have a hot drink? Can you be a little more active? Don’t take the lift (elevator) try the stairs. Could you take a slightly longer route on the walk to the bus stop?

Finally, a note about weight and the importance of taking into account other factors such as your height when deciding whether you are overweight. Body Mass Index (BMI) is a value (ratio) calculated from the mass (weight) and height of someone. It does use the metric system of weights and measures. A useful conversation tool can be found here.

The way to calculate your BMI is to take your weight in Kilograms and divided it by your height in meter squared (timed by itself). So, a thirteen stone man weighs 182 pounds or 82.5Kg. He is six feet tall or 1.83m. So, his BMI is be 82.5 / (1.83 * 1.83), or 24.6. Generally a healthy BMI would be 18.5 to 25. A BMI of over 25 is regarded as overweight. Under 18.5 is underweight.

So, if you are struggling to lose weight then Hypnotherapy can help with breaking habits, will power and support. If you feel this could be for you, then contact me.