Just one in four obese people believe they are overweight.
From a survey* of 2000 people aged between 25 and 49, two in three obese (BMI over 30) people thought they were only a little overweight. One in ten thought they were about average weight.
What’s surprising is that half of the people that were in fact, overweight, were of the midset that they were average.
Over the years, we’ve seen a shift in average weights and body fat measurements due to changing attitudes to fitness and diet. Whilst many of us are opting for healthier lifestyles this side of the millenium, it seems a large proportion of our nation are happy to maintain their sedentary lifestyles and larger-than-average weight.
It’s easy to compare ourselves to everyone else around us, we do it every day. Many Brits are comparing their own weight to those around them, and placing themselves within the average of what they see. It’s a concern, due to the rising obesity issue which is giving us a pretty skewed perception of what is in fact, ‘healthy’.
So, what counts as ‘healthy’ when it comes to obesity?
Some say that it’s more about how well the heart works to keep our circulation strong and our oxygen levels sufficient, as opposed to the amount of excess weight we carry. Others argue that it’s about keeping the joints and muscles working, rather than worrying about the extra weightload.
Though when it comes down to it, it doesn’t matter how physically fit you are… if you’re overweight, your risk of early death is significantly higher than someone of a healthy weight.
It’s no surprise that many folk are confused about what counts as healthy these days, when the ‘ideal’ diet is still unclear and we’re slapped in the face daily by Instgrammed images of the body beautiful. When we put these in contrast with the folk we see out and about on a daily basis, it’s easy to assign ourselves the ‘average’ label when the two extremes are so different.
As we continue in the long battle of the bulge that is obesity, a big solution to the countless health problems linked to obesity, is exercise. Not to simply become fitter, but to help in shifting the weight. Weight gain is a risk factor for a whole host of health problems, including diabetes, heart disease, stroke and some cancers, and already costs the UK over £5 billion every year.
Britain’s obesity epidemic is being fuelled by the sheer abundance of food, with reports showing that we’re enjoying a whopping 50% more calories than we actually need. Whilst we’re all aware that obesity is on the rise, we often point towards the increase in sedentary lifestyles, desk jobs and use of our cars as the culprit in hindering our fight against the fat. These factors all contribute to the obesity epidemic, though it’s true that the food available to us affects the choices we make about what we put into our bodies.
Every person in Britain currently has a massive 3428 calories available to them each day. That’s 70% more than the amount needed by women, and 37% more than men’s recommended daily intake. Back in 1993, this figure stood at 212 calories less.
There’s been talk of GP’s being incentivised to put obese patients on a healthy diet, the government providing the obese with exercise plans and even young children joining fat camps. Yet until we educate the nation on the serious risks of obesity, the problem will continue to grow.
Now is a great time for Personal Trainers, especially those specialising in obesity, weight management and conditions such as Diabetes which are linked to being overweight.
If you’re considering becoming an Obesity & Diabetes Specialist in order to work with the growing number of Diabetes patients, speak to the Focus team today about our course modules, or click here to find a course venue near you.
*Heart Foundation and Cancer Council Victoria Live Lighter project survey.