Obese or even merely overweight people who can shed just three per cent of their weight and keep it off for the long-term will see significant health benefits from lowering their risk of type 2 diabetes and heart disease, as well as some cancers.
The National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (Nice) acknowledges the difficulties many people face while losing weight and maintaining the loss. But the watchdog guidelines say evidence showed that an effective weight loss programme where participants receive support from “buddies” and advice on lifestyle and behavioural changes can lead to the average three per cent weight loss it recommends.
A woman who is 5ft 5inches tall and weighs 13st has a Body Mass Index of 30.3 which puts her just into the obese category.If she manages to reduce her BMI to the top of the healthy range , 24.9, she can expect to live for an extra two years.
Women who are obese are estimated to be around 13 times more likely to develop type 2 diabetes and four times more likely to develop high blood pressure than women who are not. Men who are obese are estimated to be around five times more likely to develop type 2 diabetes and 2.5 times more likely to develop high blood pressure.
Prof. Mike Kelly of Nice said obesity was costing the British economy and the NHS billions of pounds a year. But he said losing weight is “difficult, people find it difficult to do.”
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