Your Weight


Most people are concerned about their weight

Most people are concerned about their weight – either because it is a reflection of their appearance or because it impacts on their general health. In the UK, obesity typically causes 9,000 premature deaths every year, highlighting the severe implications of over-eating.

Being overweight can cause serious health problems such as type 2 diabetes, heart disease and cancers of the breast, colon and prostate cancer. In turn, these conditions can also have knock on effects, leading to other conditions.

Being overweight is often caused by overeating - or eating the wrong foods. Takeaways and frying meals are a sure fire path to obesity. However, around one per cent of cases of obesity are caused by an underactive thyroid gland or a condition known as Cushing's Syndrome.

However, obesity should not be confused with carrying a few extra pounds; it is a medical condition which is not a term necessarily synonymous with being considered fat.

Calorie Counters

One way to control weight is by counting calories. The government has outlined how many calories a person should eat per day and broken down the categories these foods should fall within. The recommended daily allowance for a woman is 2,000 calories, while a man should aim to eat around 2,800 calories per day. However, these figures should be adjusted according to height and body frame. In teenagers and children the figures also vary as more energy is often needed to facilitate growth spurts.

By law, packaged foods now have to state how many calories they contain. Sometimes this is given per item or per 100 grams. Often a break down of how much sugar, salt and fat the item contains is also given, which is useful information for an individual trying to control their weight. In order to lose weight an individual will need to lessen their calorie, sugar and fat intake. However, this should be done gradually. A doctor will normally be glad to draw up a balanced and sensible healthy eating plan for an obese individual trying to slim.

Body Mass Index (BMI)

Body Mass Index – or BMI – is a system designed to allow an individual to assess if they are overweight by taking into account their height, sex and frame. The formula requires the user to take their height and then multiply this figure by the same value, then divide their weight by this sum. The result is a figure, called your BMI. Anything under 18.5 is considered underweight, between 18.5 and 25 is ideal and those with a final number over 25 are overweight. An obese score is anything above 30.


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