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Over 30,000 deaths a year are caused by obesity in England alone. A study by the National Audit Office in 2002 estimated the condition costs the NHS £500 million a year. The overall cost to the country is estimated at up to £7.4 billion a year.
People are classed as obese if they have a body mass index over 30. They are overweight if it is 25-30
Adult obesity rates have almost quadrupled in the last 25 years. Now 22% of Britons are obese and three-quarters are overweight The number of obese children has tripled in 20 years. 10% of six year olds are obese, rising to 17% of 15 year olds

Obesity can lead to health problems, including arthritis, heart disease and diabetes

Obese children may be storing up health problems for later in life Childhood eating habits can determine adult food tastes and the body's metabolic rate Obese children are often depressed Fat adults who were fat children find it more difficult to lose weight than those who were thin in their youth

Should you change your lifestyle to lose weight?

Greater physical activity burns more calories and has additional health benefits Reducing the amount of calories from fat and sugars, and eating more fruit and vegetables, improves health Yo-yo dieting leads nowhere and may be damaging. Long-term change needs long-term attention Improving someone's body image builds confidence and increases results. Unrealistic expectations are counter-productive

Obesity epidemic?
Being very fat, or obese, is linked to many health problems including heart disease, stroke, diabetes and arthritis. And the world population is becoming fatter, leading some to believe that we are in the grip of an obesity epidemic.


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