Kat Lay

The Times

Gerry Gajadharsingh writes:

 The stats get worse, obviously public health advice is not working or obese people don’t care, perhaps both. The obese patients that I tend to see have previously tried their best to “eat healthily” and to “exercise”. It is evident that this is more complicated than just the words we use. The devil is in the detail, helping people to understand how metabolism works is the key, coupled with the will to try something different, given that what they have tried so far has not worked, this can be more challenging than you think. Have a look at my iBook The Health Equation A Way of Life available on the iTunes store for Apple devices.


The English have never been fatter, with 4 per cent of adults now morbidly obese and nine out of ten leading unhealthy lifestyles, a survey says.

Figures from the Health Survey for England found levels of morbid obesity, classed as a body mass index (BMI) of 40 or above, at their highest level. The survey of almost 8,000 adults and 2,000 children found that among women, 5 per cent were morbidly obese, compared with 1 per cent in 1993. For men the figure was 2 per cent, up from less than 0.5 per cent. The overall prevalence of adult obesity was 29 per cent.

BMI is defined as weight in kilograms divided by height in metres squared. If the average woman is 5ft 3in (161.6cm), she would be morbidly obese at 16st 7lb (105kg). Tam Fry, of the National Obesity Forum, said: “The adult population is not just getting fatter but that the already fat are fattening as never before.

“That state of affairs will continue until the health secretary [Matt Hancock] drives forward his mantra that prevention is better than cure. Horrifically, we will have to wait years for that to be achieved.”

The survey is conducted by in-person interviews, followed up by nurse visits for measurements and samples. It evaluated levels of five unhealthy behaviours: smoking, drinking more than 14 units of alcohol per week, not eating five portions of fruit and vegetables a day, inactivity and obesity.

Only 13 per cent of people had no risk factors, while 36 per cent of adults had one, 32 per cent two, and 19 per cent three or more. Men with two risk factors were most likely to combine drinking to excess with low fruit and vegetable consumption. Among women, the most common combination was low fruit and vegetable consumption with obesity.

The Office for National Statistics has released figures showing that last year eight women per 100,000 died due to alcohol, compared with 16.8 men.

Susannah Brown, senior scientist at the World Cancer Research Fund, said: “After not smoking, eating a healthy diet, being more active each day and maintaining a healthy weight are the most important ways you can reduce your cancer risk.”