People Living With Obesity
Population Outcome: People Living with Obesity in Suffolk and North East Essex Stay Well
Access to effective evidence based advice, treatment and support, and living free from weight stigma, are essential if everyone in Suffolk and North East Essex living with obesity is to live well. Having information on living well for all body sizes, effective support to reduce weight, and tackling weight stigma enables everyone to obtain they help they need when they need it.
Prevalence Data - Adults
- In the UK, more than 1 in 4 adults is obese
- Increase in the proportion of overweight or obese adults between 1993 and 2001 – Increase has slowed since then and in SNEE there has been no statistically significant change in rates since 2015.
- age group most likely to be overweight or obese in 2019 was age 65-74
- In most age groups, men are more likely than women to be overweight or obese
- Obesity is one of the leading causes of death and disability worldwide. Overweight and obesity are associated with the following:
An increased risk of developing (or exacerbation of) a number of chronic diseases and conditions, including:
- Type 2 diabetes.
- Coronary heart disease.
- Hypertension and stroke.
- Metabolic syndrome.
- Gastro-oesophageal reflux disease (GORD)
- Gallbladder disease
- Reproductive problems.
- Osteoarthritis and back pain.
- Obstructive sleep apnoea.
- Psychological distress.
- Decreased life expectancy:
- Life expectancy is reduced by about 2–4 years in people with a body mass index (BMI) of 30–35 kg/m2, and by about 8–10 years in people with a BMI of 40–50 kg/m2
Prevalence Data - Children
The health consequences of childhood obesity include: increased blood lipids, glucose intolerance, Type 2 diabetes, hypertension, increases in liver enzymes associated with fatty liver, exacerbation of conditions such as asthma and psychological problems such as social isolation, low self-esteem, teasing and bullying.
More data: https://fingertips.phe.org.uk/profile/national-child-measurement-programme/data#page/3/gid/8000011/pat/30000/par/al-xjCMMWePgk/ati/401/are/E07000200/iid/20601/age/200/sex/4/cat/-1/ctp/-1/yrr/1/cid/4/tbm/1/page-options/car-do-0
The Story Behind the Outcome
Living with obesity - Inequalities
- Prevalence of obesity varies by region and with gender, age, household income (in women but not men), education and socio-economic background, and ethnicity.
- Deprivation: in the most deprived areas in England, prevalence of excess weight is 13 percentage points higher than the least deprived areas
- Disability: among people with disabilities, excess weight is 11 percentage points higher than among those without disabilities.
Ethnicity: Of all ethnic groups in the UK, Black people have the highest rates of excess weight – 67.5% of Black adults were overweight or obese – with White British people having the next highest rates of excess weight than (63.7%)
Education and socio-economic background affect the prevalence of obesity. Reciprocally, obesity contributes to reinforcing existing social inequalities – Compared with non-obese people, obese people have poorer job prospects, are less likely to be employed, have more difficulty re-entering the labour market. They also earn about 10% less than their non-obese colleagues
Among people with no qualifications, rates of excess weight are 12 percentage points higher than among people with level 4 qualifications or higher (i.e. a degree)
Living with obesity - Complexity of Causal Factors
Foresight Tackling Obesities: Future Choices Project
Children living with obesity
The guidance recommends best practice for health professionals:
- Recognise obesity is complex with many drivers including
behaviour, environment, genetics and culture
- Understand the activities and interventions that can support
individuals and families to achieve and maintain a healthier
- Be mindful of weight bias, and use neutral, non-blaming,
factual language when discussing weight with families
- Think about how professionals can role model healthy
- Promote and support healthy home environments to
- Weight stigma is a result of weight bias – negative ideologies include laziness, lack of will power, a lack of moral character, bad hygiene, low level of intelligence and unattractiveness.
- Stigmatising beliefs and ideologies can lead to stigmatising acts, including negative verbal commentaries, teasing, slights such as eye rolling and tutting, or even physical assault.
- Societal environment plays a part – e.g., seating in cinemas or airlines are not designed to accommodate people with obesity.
- In healthcare settings, doctors, nutritionists, dietitians, fitness professionals and exercise science students have a propensity to stereotype larger people as lazy, weak-willed, and noncompliant.
- Physicians generally have lower levels of respect for patients with higher BMI and generally spend less time providing consultations to patients with obesity compared to counterparts with healthy weight.
- Physicians can also make stigmatising comments – in one study, 53% of people with overweight and obesity reported receiving inappropriate comments from their doctor about their weight.
- People can also face a stigmatising physical environment, including gowns, chairs, and examination tables that cannot accommodate them.
References & Further Reading
What we know matters and why
|I understand the factors that can cause obesity||Recognising that obesity is complex with many drivers including behaviour, environment, genetics and culture, means I can better understand what measures might work if I want to reduce my weight.|
|I can maintain a healthier weight||Understanding what I can do achieve and maintain a healthy weight for me and my family gives us the best chance of success.|
|I have information on achieving a healthy weight||Information that reflects the complexity of obesity and takes a non-judgemental approach gives me the right tools to achieve healthy weight in the right way.|
Guidance from professionals who role model healthy behaviour and peers with lived experience enables me to have greater trust in their advice and support.
|I am treated as an individual||Treating me, my carer and my family with dignity and respect, recognising my culture, characteristics and life circumstances, means my care and support is inclusive, sensitive and responsive to my needs.|
Support tailored to my physical and mental health needs improves my chances of achieving a healthy weight safely.
|I am seen and heard||Recognising the impact of weight bias and stigma on me means I am able to openly discuss the barriers I face and we can overcome them together.|
How will things be different in Suffolk and North East Essex
|We will co-produce a range of weight management support from tools to self-care, to community support, to specialist services.||We will promote peer support for people who are, or have been, categorised as obese.|
|We will promote and support healthy home environments to people and families in a non-judgemental way.||We will recognise the relationship between physical and mental health and obesity, and co-produce tailored support.|
|We will train the health and care workforce in the causes of obesity and available services, understanding weight bias and stigma, recognising disordered eating/dieting, and appropriate use of language.||We will support people to maintain their health and wellbeing before, while waiting for, during and after treatment to help them stay well and recover well.|
|We will co-produce campaigns to tackle weight stigma in communities.|