More people than ever are losing weight, and it’s not just for fat people
Lost weight is a big problem for people of all shapes and sizes, and the new report from the Obesity Prevention Research Group (OPRG) shows the problem has worsened in recent years, with people who were previously obese now feeling worse off.
“It’s a big thing, and this is just one part of it,” says OPRG lead author Dr Amy Wrobel.
“There’s a lot of other factors that are contributing, but we can’t really see it in the numbers.”
While there is an increase in the number of people who lose weight through the NHS, Dr Wrobal says people are also losing weight in places like sports clubs, bars, gyms and even supermarkets.
“A lot of people don’t realise that this can happen in their local area,” she says.
“And people have a lot to lose.”
The report found that while more people are losing fat, there is still a long way to go in terms of how much they are losing.
People who have lost weight over the past decade are more likely to be overweight or obese.
Dr Wrosbels says it’s important to look at the reasons why people have gained weight, as well as the reasons they are gaining weight.
“People are just being more aware that they’re doing this,” she said.
“I think it’s a good thing that we have a better understanding of why people are gaining and losing weight and what they’re going through.”
The OPRP report says more people in Britain are losing than gaining weight in 2017, with almost 6 million people reporting they were overweight or obesity in 2017.
This is up from the previous year, when the figures were 6.9 million.
But Dr Wropel says this is a problem for everyone.
“What’s important is that people are getting better at managing their weight,” she explains.
“But the problem is there’s no one-size-fits-all approach.
It’s important for people to understand how much weight they’re actually losing and the factors that contribute to that.”
The obesity prevention research group found that the most common reason people had lost weight in the past was because they had been overweight or had experienced a major weight loss.
People were also more likely than ever to say they were getting the help they needed, and Dr Wrotel says it is important for them to be aware of what to do if they have an eating disorder.
“They should be able to tell their GP about that, so they don’t get into a situation where they don the wrong kind of treatment.”
The new report also found that one in four people with obesity were overweight, compared to one in six in 2012.
Dr Wolbels stresses that the new figures are an important starting point, and says it would be very helpful if the UK government started to look into ways of improving people’s wellbeing.
“We need to make sure that we can take a much better picture of how people are actually living their lives,” she warns.
“The way people feel, and how they feel about themselves, are really important.”
The results from the OPRCG survey are based on a survey of more than 8,000 people from across the UK and the Republic of Ireland.
The results were published in the journal Obesity on Wednesday.
This article originally appeared on The Conversation.
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