Around 60% of adults in England are either overweight or obese (DOH 2011), and 2% are morbidly obese (Body Mass Index (BMI) above 40kg/m2) (Information Centre 2008). In fact, if present trends continue, 60% of all men, 50% of all women, and 25% of all children will be obese by 2050.

Being obese is associated with morbidity (e.g. type 2 diabetes mellitus, certain cancers, cardiovascular and musculoskeletal diseases) and premature death (Maggard 2005; Reeves 2007; Flegal 2007; Renehan 2008). Weight loss can reduce such problems and improve quality of life.

Treatment options include dietary, lifestyle and drug interventions (orlistat) and bariatric surgery (DTB 2007).The National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence (NICE) advises that lifestyle changes should form the mainstay of management in obesity and that drug treatment should be considered only after lifestyle changes, including behavioural approaches, have been started (NICE 2006).


Department of Health  2011 .  Healthy lives, healthy people (online)  Available www.dh.gov.uk/en/Publicationsandstatistics/Publications/PublicationsPolicyAndGuidance/DH_130401.

Flegal KM et al. Cause-specific excess deaths associated with underweight, overweight, and obesity. JAMA 2007; 298: 2028–37.

Less weight or more hype with rimonabant? DTB 2007; 45: 41–3.

Maggard MA et al. Meta-analysis: surgical treatment of obesity. Ann Intern Med 2005; 142: 547–59.

National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence, 2006. Obesity: guidance on the prevention, identification, assessment and management of overweight and obesity in adults and children [online]. Available: http://www.nice.org.uk/nicemedia/pdf/CG43NICEGuideline.pdf

Reeves GK et al. Cancer incidence and mortality in relation to body mass index in the Million Women Study: cohort study. BMJ 2007; 335: doi:10.1136/bmj.39367.495995.AE.

Renehan AG et al. Body-mass index and incidence of cancer: a systematic review and meta-analysis of prospective observational studies. Lancet 2008; 371: 569–78.

The Information Centre, 2008. Health Survey for England 2006: latest trends [online]. Available: http://www.ic.nhs.uk/webfiles/publications/HSE06/Health%20Survey%20for%20England%202006%20Latest%20Trends.pdf

Additional Info

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Last modified on Wednesday, 18 April 2012 15:46




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