Obesity Health Risk And Facts

Obesity is on the rise and there are many costs associated with being overweight from both from a health perspective and a financial one. Read on to find out the weighty facts on obesity.

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According to the World Health Organisation (WHO) figures from 2014, over 1.9 billion adults (18+)  in the world were overweight and 600 million of these were classed as obese. It is estimated by WHO that at least 2.8 million people die each year as a result of being overweight or obese.

Being overweight or obese can affect nearly every part of your body. It can increase your chances of having a heart attack, developing diabetes and having high blood pressure.

Obesity can also cause:

  • Breathlessness
  • Back pain
  • Sweating
  • Infertility
  • Sleep difficulties
  • Strokes
  • Certain cancers — colon, prostate, ovarian and postmenopausal breast cancer
  • Aching joints
  • Difficulties with walking
  • Depression
  • Low self-esteem
  • Raised ‘bad’ LDL cholesterol levels

So why worry about obesity?

The main reason is that it can severely hamper you from living life to the full. Obesity takes off an average of nine years from the lifespan. You can reduce your health risks though. It is not all bad news! We now know that losing just 5 to 10 per cent of your body weight can provide many health benefits such as:

  • Lowering blood pressure
  • Improving blood sugar control for people with diabetes
  • Reducing the risk of angina
  • Improving the blood cholesterol levels

So losing weight (and keeping it off) can really help you live the life you want; a longer and better quality life. A weight loss of 5 to 10kg (11 to 22lb) can improve back and joint pain, reduce breathlessness and improve sleeping problems.

Can you identify with this lady?

‘I can’t be the person that I want to be, I’d love to run around and play with my children but my weight stops me doing this’.

People who have lost weight say:

  • ‘I feel so much fitter, and my legs don’t rub together when I walk anymore’
  • ‘I haven’t lost much weight, only 11lb, but I already feel less out of breath when I run for the bus’
  • ‘I feel so much more confident than I used to, I can now wear different clothes, I am not hiding under a baggy t-shirt all the time’

One of the main differences now is that we do so much less activity than we used to. The number of calories that we use is far less than in the 1950s


Calories no longer used after 50 years of labor-saving devices



Shopping on foot/car and supermarket trolley:


Washing clothes by hand/machine:

Making a coal fire/ lighting a gas fire:

1300/almost zero

Making a bed with blankets/duvet:


Making a bed with blankets/duvet:



Mowing lawn by hand mower/electric mower:


Driving without power steering/with it: