20.06.2012 Obesity in the UK on the increase

Obesity in the UK on the increase


Recent studies show that obesity in the UK is on the increase.  A person is considered obese if they have a body mass index (BMI) of 30 or more.  It is estimated that up to a quarter of adults in England alone (over the age of 16) are obese, having a BMI in excess of 30. 

Several leading health experts have stated that obesity is responsible for more ill health than smoking.  Being obese has been linked to a variety of health issues including but not limited to:


  • Heart disease
  • High blood pressure
  • Diabetes
  • Arthritis
  • Gallstones
  • Indigestion
  • Brest cancer
  • Prostate cancer
  • Sleep apnoea and snoring
  • Stress, anxiety and depression
  • Infertility

A recent news report on obesity said if current trends continue and that unless people’s lifestyles significantly change for the better with improved attitudes towards health eating, regular exercise etc then at least half of the UK men could be obese by the year 2030.

The aim of any treatment on obesity is to lose weight in order to improve a person’s general quality of life, both physically and psychologically.

Creating awareness of obesity and the dangers around being overweight has been a priority for the NHS and health organisations, with emphasis on prevention is better than cure. 

Employers are also encouraged to assist in creating awareness of potential health issues and good healthy living to employees noting that a healthy workforce is a productive workforce.  One way for Employers to do this is to run regular health awareness events and campaigns.  Another is to provide access to free information, advice and guidance – and even counselling.

A cost effective way of providing such advice etc to employees is through an Employee Assistance Programme (EAP).  A proper EAP service will offer employees free advice and support whenever they need it.  EAPs being a 24/7 service at accessed via a Freephone number and/or online whereby concerned employees can get confidential advice on a 1-2-1 basis.

Employers that do not yet carry an EAP service should take time to consider the benefits of having an EAP not just to their employees but to their organisation as a whole.

There is a tremendous amount of useful information already out in the public domain in regards to obesity, issues around being overweight and on improving a person's lifestyle.  People can also seek advice from their G.P.

In any case, promoting good healthy living is something that needs to stay at the top of the agenda and for all to take heed.  If you have concerns in regards to any of the aforementioned issues please contact your G.P. to discuss.

If you are an Employer considering implementing an EAP please feel free to contact Workforce Wellness for further details and pricing.



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