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Health Matters

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Excerpts included from Obesity NHS Choices Website 

Being a little bit overweight may not cause too many noticeable problems. However, once you are carrying a few extra kilograms (or pounds), you may develop symptoms that affect your daily life.  Being obese can lead to a number of serious health problems, as well as shorten your life expectancy (how long you should live). In 2004, it was estimated that 34,100 deaths were due to obesity. This is 6.8% of all the deaths in England.

Short-term problems - Day-to-day, obesity causes problems such as:

  • Breathlessness
  • Increased sweating
  • Snoring
  • Difficulty sleeping
  • Inability to cope with sudden physical activity
  • Feeling very tired every day
  • Back & Joint Pain

The number of overweight and obese people is likely to increase. The Foresight report, a scientific report used to guide government policy, has predicted that by 2025, nearly half of men and over a third of women will be obese. According to European Union figures & Data agency Eurostat, which looked at 19 European countries the UK has more obese women than any other country in Europe.....

In 2008, the latest year to date with available figures, revealed that nearly a quarter of adults (over 16 years of age) in England were obese with a BMI over 30. Just under a third of women, 32%, were overweight with a BMI of 25-30 and 42% of men were overweight. Amongst children aged 2-15 years, one in six boys and one in seven girls in England were obese in 2008. The number of overweight children was also around one in seven. 

Long-term Health problems - Being overweight or obese can increase your risk of a number of health problems, including:

  • High Blood Pressure (hypertension) - this is a major risk factor for developing a serious cardiovascular disease (conditions that can affect the circulation of blood around the body)
  • Infertility - when you cannot get pregnant despite having regular unprotected sex
  • Type 2 Diabetes- a chronic (long-term) condition that is caused by too much glucose in the blood
  • Many types of Cancer- when the body's cells begin to grow and reproduce in an uncontrollable way
  • Heart Disease - when your heart’s blood supply is blocked 
  • Stroke - when the blood supply to the brain is interrupted
  • Asthma - when the airways of the lungs (the bronchi) become inflamed (swollen)
  • Osteoarthritis - a condition that affects the joints
  • Chronic (long term) back pain - particularly lower back pain
  • Depression - when you have feelings of extreme sadness, despair or inadequacy that last for a long time

Psychological problems - In addition to the day-to-day problems of obesity, many people may also experience psychological problems (problems to do with mental health).  These can affect your relationships with family members and friends, and if they become severe, may lead to Depression and may include:

  • having low self-esteem
  • having a poor self-image (not liking how you look)
  • having low confidence levels
  • feeling isolated in society
  • having reduced mobility leading to a poor quality of life


Obesity: The story so far

Health Explained: What is fat - video link?

Sizing it up: The facts behind global obesity - video link


>>Types of diet

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Your GP may recommend a calorie-controlled diet. This will be based on how much you are currently eating, and then attempting to cut the amount of calories you eat every day by around 600. Alternatively, you may be advised to follow a low-fat diet. See diet for tips to cut down the amount of fat and sugar in your diet.

A calorie-controlled or low-fat diet should only be attempted with expert support and advice. You should also have a follow-up appointment with your GP to check your progress.

If you attempt a low-calorie diet (only 1,000-1,600 calories a day) without the advice of a health professional, you may miss out some of the vital nutrients you need to stay healthy.

Very-low-calorie diets (VLCDs) may be used by people who are obese and have reached a plateau in their weight loss. NICE defines VLCDs as being less than 800 calories a day. They should only be used with expert support and any diet of less than 600 calories a day should be used only under the supervision of a qualified health professional.

  • You may be interested to read the results of a review Lighterlife, a similar UK provider of Meal Replacements carried out in an abstract from the Journal of Diabetes....

A number of published studies suggest that VLCDs are effective in helping obese people to lose weight. For example, a ("Randomized clinical trial of standard dietary treatment versus a low-carbohydrate/high-protein diet or the LighterLife Programme in the management of obesity")  2009 randomised controlled trial concluded that there was an average weight loss of 31kg (68lb) for obese patients who followed a very-low-calorie diet compared with 4kg (9lb) for those following a low-carbohydrate/high-protein diet.

Diets that are very restrictive, for example those that cut out entire food groups, should not be used. This includes diets that cut out all carbohydrates or proteins. These diets are not usually sustainable in the long-term, and may be harmful. 

  • The KeeDiet products have an exceptionally good Protein : Carbohydrate Ratio, plus other essential ingredients. 


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