8th-14th January - National Obesity Awareness week

National Obesity Awareness week 2018 is from 8th January to the 14th, and aims to help improve the nation’s health.

Why is obesity a problem?

Obesity approximately affects one in four adults, and one in five children aged 10 to 11. It can lead to many serious health conditions that are potentially life-threatening, with key conditions being type 2 diabetes, coronary heart disease, a stroke and also some types of cancer for example bowel cancer.   As well as these serious health conditions, obesity can also affect a person’s quality of life and their relationships with family and friends, which can result in psychological issues for instance depression and low self-esteem. Obesity can also lead to a number of day-to-day problems, with some significant ones being breathlessness, increased sweating, difficulty doing physical activity and joint or back pain.   Depending on how severe a person’s obesity is, it can also reduce life expectancy by an average of 3 to 10 years. As an estimate, obesity and being overweight play a part in at least 1 in every 13 deaths in Europe.  

How do you know if you are obese?

The definition of 'obese’ is a person who is very overweight with a lot of body fat. The NHS provides a BMI healthy weight calculator which can be used to indicate whether a person is a healthy weight, overweight or obese.

Tips for losing weight

Exercise at work. If there are any stairs in your office, choose to take them rather than the lift. You could also go for a walk at lunch.   Create your own vending machine. Vending machines at work are generally always full of unhealthy snacks, however you can create your own vending machine by stocking up on dried fruit.   Drink lots of water. A lot of the time people think they’re hungry, they’re actually thirsty instead, so whenever you feel the need for a snack, try drinking water. Water also has a number of other benefits such as preventing dehydration at work.   Find a healthy co-worker. It can be difficult and awkward to turn down treats from colleagues, so try find a co-worker who also wants to be healthy and buddy up with them so you’re not alone.   Think about whether you’re emotional eating. Some people eat depending on their emotional state, and a bad day at work or a tough meeting can be a trigger. It’s worth identifying what may be causing emotional eating, and taking the appropriate steps to avoid doing so. Finding alternatives could help to combat this, such as practicing mindful eating or getting help with any emotional issues.   There are also a number of things you can do outside of work, such as joining a local weight loss group or starting a food diary. If you or someone close to you is struggling with obesity or weight management and any of the issues it can cause, Health Assured are here to help. You can call us on our helpline, or for more information visit our health and wellbeing portal www.healthassuredeap.co.uk

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