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Overweight - what’s the problem?

Many people are quite happy with their weight, but being overweight increases the chances of developing many diseases including:

  • diabetes
  • heart disease
  • raised blood pressure
  • gallstones
  • some hormone dependent, urogenital and gastrointestinal cancers
  • impotence
  • osteoarthritis especially of the hips and knees
  • blood clotting disorders
  • problems breathing especially when asleep

It is also clear that being overweight reduces one's lifespan: the greater the degree of obesity, the greater the reduction in years of life.

The greatly increased levels of obesity today are therefore an important public health issue in the western world. As such there has been much media interest recently and the medical profession has issued clinical guidelines on the management of overweight and obese people.

Recent reports attribute much of the increasing incidence of Diabetes to Type II or lifestyle-related Diabetes. 80% of Type II Diabetes is weight related, with the single greatest risk factor being abdominal circumference. In fact each kilogram of weight gain increases a person's risk of developing type II, or lifestyle-related diabetes by nearly 5 times.

There are also many other problems being overweight too; its hard to join in sports and other leisure activities, its hard to join in or keep up with the kids, buying clothes can be a big problem, especially from high street fashion shops, comments and looks from other people who don’t struggle with their weight can be very hurtful.

Many people who have weight problems also suffer from low self esteem; this alone can have dramatic affect on the rest of their lives, limit their career development and affect relationships.