Healthy lifestyles are continuing to grow as an area of interest, but there is still much concern. The statistics are alarming and for us to do nothing would be irresponsible. Hopefully these figures will encourage you to be healthier, and recognise Healthy Lifestyles as a key activity for you to set aside time to learn and adopt one for yourself. The National Audit Office report on Tackling Obesity in England sets out the scale of the problem in detail.o 1 in 5 adults is obese.
In England about 46% of men and 32% of women are overweight with an additional 17% of men and 21% of women classified as obese.
The numbers of overweight and obese have trebled over the last 20 years. In 1980, the percentage of the UK population classed as obese was 7%. By 1998 this has increased to over 20%, a three-fold expansion. This is due largely to changes in dietary habits and exercise patterns. Even although for many people total energy intake has decreased, much less active lifestyles have reduced the opportunities for energy expenditure.
- Overweight and obesity increase with age.
- 28% of men and 27% of women aged 16-24 are overweight or obese
- 76% of men and 68% of women aged 55-64 are overweight or obese.
- Being overweight in late childhood and early adolescence is quite a good predictor of adult obesity. The optimum time to prevent obesity is during the primary school years.
- Children are at considerably increased risk of obesity in adulthood, if they are from a manual background, they are overweight in childhood and/or their parents are overweight or obese
- If the rate of increase in the prevalence of obesity amongst adults seen between 1980 and 1998 continues, over one fifth of men and about a quarter of women will be obese by 2005, and over a quarter of all adults by 2010.
- The increase in the prevalence of overweight and obese children has also become a major concern. In the United Kingdom, 20% of 4 year olds are now overweight and 8% are obese. In England, 17% of 15 year olds are now obese, a threefold increase between the years 1990 and 2000.
- Children who are obese are at a greater risk of developing childhood diabetes type 2 and adolescent obesity is associated with an increased risk of adult mortality and morbidity. Young people therefore need an understanding both of the risks that obesity poses to health and of the ways to maintain a healthy weight.
Yes these are alarming figures, but if they make you sit up and take notice, and give you that final motivation to get started on adopting a healthy lifestyle, then they are creating change, which what is needed, before these figures get even worse.