The Importance of Weight Management
The implications of obesity
Almost two out of every three people in the United Kingdom are either overweight or obese. When compared to those who are a healthy weight, people who are overweight have an increased risk of many health conditions, including the following:
- High cholesterol
- High blood pressure
- Coronary heart disease (which can lead to a heart attack)
- Sleep apnoea
- Back pain
- Some cancers
- Mental illness (anxiety, depression)
Obesity and diabetes
It has been estimated that almost 90% of people with type 2 diabetes are overweight or obese. If you are overweight, you may have increased insulin resistance, which means your body cannot use insulin as well as it should. This can make it more difficult for your body to control your blood glucose levels and can increase the risk of your diabetes getting worse.
The benefits of weight loss
Research has shown that losing 5–10% of your body weight can have great benefits to your health. These include the following:
- Your diabetes may become easier to control as your body can make better use of insulin.
- You may be able to take less medication to control your diabetes.
- Your blood cholesterol and blood pressure levels may become lower, which will reduce your risk of coronary heart disease and stroke.
- You may feel more energetic.
- You may become more mobile, feel less breathless and have less strain on your joints.
- You may feel more confident and less anxious.
The following will give you more information and support on managing your weight:
- What Can I Do to Lose Weight?
- Losing Weight: How Do I Start?
- Exercise and Physical Activity: the Impact on Blood Glucose
- Exercise and Physical Activity: Healthy Living
The NHS has developed a free twelve-week guide which combines advice on healthy eating and physical activity, available here.
The British Heart Foundation has produced a detailed information leaflet to support weight loss, available here.