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  • Aleksandra Modzelewska

"Why overweight is a problem?"

Updated: Jan 17

Understanding the risks

How many times have you heard that being overweight or obese is unhealthy? But what if you don’t have any weight issues at the moment? Not paying attention to what you eat, having a sedentary lifestyle, being chronically stressed and having poor quality sleep - is this kind of lifestyle healthy? No, it certainly isn't, and it can lead you to become overweight in the future and put you at risk.

No weight struggles, no problem?

Have we been asking the wrong question all this time? Should we be asking "why being overweight or obese bad"? Or perhaps should we be asking "why leading an unhealthy lifestyle is bad"? One encourages you to take preventative measures, whereas the other focuses on weight loss treatments.

An unhealthy diet and lifestyle can lead to increased body fat and with that a higher risk of:

  • High blood pressure (hypertension)

  • Infertility

  • Asthma

  • Back pain

  • Liver disease

  • Kidney disease

  • Sleep apnoea (a condition that causes interrupted breathing during sleep)

Excess body fat can also lead to being overweight or even obesity and with this there is a greater risk of developing some serious life-threatening conditions like:

  • Type 2 diabetes

  • Heart disease

  • Stroke

Obesity can also cause death… There are around 35,000 obesity-related deaths in England each year. That’s… 1 in every 16 deaths! Pretty scary, right?

Being overweight and/or obese can also affect your quality of life and lead to psychological problems, such as anxiety, depression and low self-esteem.


Let's look at some stats...

World Health Organisation (WHO) shared some global estimates:

  • In 2016, more than 1.9 billion adults aged 18 years and older were overweight. Of these over 650 million adults were obese.

  • In 2016, 39% of adults aged 18 years and over (39% of men and 40% of women) were overweight.

  • Overall, about 13% of the world’s adult population (11% of men and 15% of women) were obese in 2016.

  • The worldwide prevalence of obesity nearly tripled between 1975 and 2016.

In 2019, an estimated 38.2 million children under the age of 5 years were overweight or obese. Once considered a high-income country problem, overweight and obesity are now on the rise in low- and middle-income countries, particularly in urban settings.

Over 340 million children and adolescents aged 5-19 were overweight or obese in 2016.

Overweight and obesity are linked to more deaths worldwide than underweight.

As you can see, the numbers are increasing. More and more people become a statistic every year, that's why taking preventative measures before you get to that point is crucial. Yes, there is plenty still to be done at global, regional and local levels to improve diets and physical activity patterns at the population level and we should be changes coming in in the next few years. However, there is also a lot you can do now.

How to not become a statistic

I repeat this time and time again - awareness is key to change. If you aren't aware of what you're doing, why you're doing it, how it affects you and what impact it has, you have no reason to change. Education in nutrition and healthy lifestyle is also crucial. This will show you the way to how to apply the change. Make sure you look at trusted sources though, as there is so much misinformation out there. When you start digging you might end up overwhelmed. My Diet and Lifestyle Coaching Programmes can help you look into your current diet and eating behaviours, activity and stress levels, sleep quality and help you apply change where necessary, in an easy, fun and sustainable way.

Even if you don't have any weight or health issues at the moment, don't take it for granted, don't try to see how far you can push it. Take control of your health now and enjoy a good quality life for years to come. And if you need some help, you know where to find me.

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