Obesity

Obesity rates have fallen from 2011-2012 to 2012-2013 according to a survey conducted by the Health and Social Care Information Centre.

Obesity is a growing problem in the UK with a general problem taking place for both adult men and women. In 2012, 67 per cent of men and 55 per cent of women aged 16 and over met the new recommendations for aerobic activity. 26 per cent of women and 19 per cent of men were classed as inactive.

A combination of lifestyle choices and the lack of physical activities have led to the increase in obesity within the UK with the numbers rising from 2008-2009 to 2011-2012 before falling in 2012-2013.

The rise of obesity awareness and the amount of people seeking help through physical activity when overweight has risen, thus the fall in obesity statistics. The Independent reported that by 2030 there will be 26 million people in the UK who are obese – a rise of 73% from the current 15 million. The predictions come from one of these studies, which looked at obesity data from the US and UK, which have had the highest obesity levels in the world over the past 20 years. The researchers predict that if the current trend continues, up to 48% of men and 43% of women in the UK could be obese by 2030, adding an additional £1.9-2 billion per year in medical costs for obesity-related diseases.

Cardiovascular disease, diabetes and various cancers are the main chronic diseases associated with obesity. Given that the prevalence of these diseases is already rising due to the fact that people are living longer, the extra burden from obesity suggests a substantial cost to the healthcare system. In the UK, a 2007 report by the Office for Science Foresight Programme projected that the continuing rise in obesity will add £5.5 billion in medical costs to the National Health Service by 2050.

Obesity within children and young people is at an all time rise as children focus more on video and computer games as opposed to playing outside and gaining some exercise. those who are obese are at a greater risk for developing chronic health conditions compared to their healthy weight counterparts. This can mean that young people with disabilities face extra health challenges in addition to those associated with the health conditions or impairments primarily associated with their disability. Childhood obesity has been linked to hypertension, dyslipidaemia, type 2 diabetes, fatty liver disease, sleep apnoea, asthma and psychosocial disorders. Hospital admission rates for obesity and related conditions among children and young people in England have increased more than four-fold over the past decade.

Children with disabilities are more likely to become obese than children without disabilities, putting them at a higher risk for diabetes, asthma, and cardiovascular risk factors.NHS figures for the past year show 19% of children in their final year of primary school were classed as obese, compared with 18.7% the previous year.

latest annual results from the NHS’s National Child Measurement Programme (NCMP) also showed that the proportion of obese four- and five-year-olds in reception classes had fallen slightly year-on-year, from 9.8% in 2009-10 to 9.4%.But one-third of pupils – 33.4% – are either overweight or obese by the time they reach year six, an increase on the 33.3% recorded the previous year, driven by a rise in the obese category.

Obesity awareness among children is on the rise with schools looking to promote healthy lifestyles and healthier eating choices, however this is difficult with the amount of advertising focused on young people to eat bad foods. McDonalds, KFC and Burger King are just three of the fast foods companies that promote their brands targeting young people.

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