How serious are the Brits about their obesity?

According to a recent poll one in every three adults in the UK is now on a permanent diet and the over-55s are most the likely to embark on one.

The research conducted by supermarket giant Tesco has found that 15% of adults spend between 30 minutes and an hour each day worrying about their weight and more than one in 20 women admitted to anxiety about their figures for more than three hours a day.

Among the over-55s, 15% try to restrict their calorie intake every day which is double the number of any other age group.

For the research 2,000 people were queried and self-confidence appeared to be one of the main reasons respondents gave for watching their diet.

It appears that 6 out of every 10 women and more than 4 out of 10 men say that losing weight would help them feel better about themselves and many try to lose weight to improve their love life; many too want to look more like celebrities.

Experts worldwide have repeatedly warned that obesity epidemics are looming in many developed countries and they say if current trends persist, by the year 2050, 60% of adults will be overweight.

They suggest that what is needed is a national long-term, healthy lifestyle plan which substitutes good habits for bad and sets realistic and achievable goals.

They say as many as 70,000 lives could be saved if Britons followed simple healthy eating guidelines.

Research has shown that "yo-yo" diets are ineffective, and may actually carry a risk of weight gain in the long term and are doomed to failure.

The charity Weight Concern, says the findings are not a surprise and it is important that people take their weight seriously and monitor food intake and activity levels regularly.

Weight Concern says there is a need to move away from the concept of "dieting" towards one of "healthy diet" and supermarkets could help by focusing on providing healthy food choices.

Another poll carried out for the Community Service Volunteers (CSV) charity has also found that many Brits are unhappy about their weight.

The CSV poll found that almost three-quarters of Britons believe they are overweight and plan to begin a health campaign in the New Year.

However this particular survey has also found that despite almost 70 percent saying they want to get healthy, there is little evidence that people's behaviour is changing and the repeated warnings about the dangers of obesity appear to be falling on deaf ears.

The survey which queried 1,032 adults, showed that those in the northeast and Scotland are most concerned about their weight and more than two thirds of people aged between 18-44 are most concerned about staying fit whereas only one in four of the 50-60's thought losing weight was a priority.

However a third of all ages said they would make a New Year resolution to lose weight and get fit.

The poll results were released following fast-food giant, McDonald's revelation that it had recorded growth rates with 88 million visits to its outlets in the UK last month alone.

Obesity causes 9,000 premature deaths each year in England and costs the NHS about one billion pounds annually.


The opinions expressed here are the views of the writer and do not necessarily reflect the views and opinions of News Medical.
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