According to the NHS, obesity rates in the UK alone are soaring and there are similarly rising surgery and alternative treatments in the UK. The term obesity refers to someone carrying an excess of body fat and occurs normally when for a long period you consume more calories than you expend over a given period of time. Obesity is affected by the number of calories we eat compared to the amount we use. The rate at which you burn off calories during the day is dependent upon the metabolic rate. The Base Metabolic Rate (BMR) is the rate of calorie burning during rest. Someone exercising regularly will tend to have a higher metabolic rate than those who tend to take less physical activity. Obesity in the UK is a problem as more than half of all adults are heavier than is recommended.

The term obesity epidemic refers to the escalation of the number of people who are excessively overweight since 1980 in the UK. The number has almost tripled. It is very common throughout the developed world and it is a major problem for health. Many diseases can develop and progress as a result of being excessively overweight. Diabetes and heart disease are some of the better known conditions that may arise. Around 40% of the adults living in the UK are overweight and 20% are obese. These figures are rising.

It is possible to measure levels of weight gain by using various methods. You can easily determine your ideal weight and establishing the extent to which you may be overweight. A calorie counting book or your doctor can provide you with the information you need to determine your ideal weight. Another way is by using the Body Mass Index (BMI) to calculate the amount of body fat you have in relation to your height. It represents a great way of finding out the status of your weight and in the UK, people with a BMI of 20-25 are categorised as having a healthy weight. People with a BMI of 25-30 are considered to be overweight while those with a BMI of 30 are thought to be excessively overweight.

Research conducted over a period of 14 years in more than one million people shows that the health risks are accentuated in people who are excessively overweight. An increase in weight leads to an higher chance of developing diabetes, heart disease, high blood pressure, heart attacks and strokes. Men with the highest BMI are three times more likely to die in a particular year compared to men with a BMI of 20-25. the World Health Organisation (WHO) indicate that being extremely overweight could be responsible for the onset of various cancers, amongst other illnesses and conditions. Deaths relating to being excessively overweight are now second only to those relating to smoking.

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