FOCUS ON OBESITY

WOMAN - UK|May 18, 2020

FOCUS ON OBESITY
Why weight gain can be seriously bad for our health
ALI HORSFALL

As a nation, we’re getting fatter. Startling studies show that obesity levels have doubled in the last two decades, and now 60% of women in the UK are either overweight or clinically obese.* But what are the health effects of our bodies getting bigger? ‘Carrying too much fat leads to one of the biggest health concerns – high blood pressure,’ says nutritionist and well-being expert Yvonne Wake.** This causes hardening of the arteries, and other heart-related diseases that can result in death. ‘Strokes are a major risk factor, as well as type 2 diabetes, and some cancers have also been linked to obesity,’ warns Yvonne. Essentially, too much fat puts stress on all the bodily systems.

What’s to blame?

Poor diets consisting of highly processed foods and sugary drinks, along with sedentary lifestyles are important factors in the rise of obesity, explains Yvonne. ‘We’ve seen a huge increase in the availability of foods that are high in fat, salt and sugar,’ she says. In addition, we’re simply not exercising enough – statistics*** show that around a quarter of UK adults are inactive, and it’s a recipe for weight gain. ‘Obesity is now a named disease, so it’s crucial that we all make healthier choices, every day, to avoid it.’ But good news is that when someone overweight starts to lose weight, the health benefits swiftly follow. Blood pressure lowers, cholesterol levels improve and the risk of diabetes and heart disease reduces.

Yvonne’s tips for fighting fat…

Eat healthy fats, such as olive oil rather than butter

Quit consuming drinks that are high in sugar

Eat plenty of fibre, and cut down on refined carbohydrates

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May 18, 2020