Ten million Brits unaware they are obese

Ten million Brits are unaware they are obese because being fat is now seen as the 'norm', according to new research

Ten million Brits are unaware they are obese because being fat is now seen as the ‘norm’, according to new research. 

According to reports in The Telegraph, they are suffering from a new phenomenon dubbed ‘the fat gap’ which has blurred public perception of what is a healthy weight.

Less than one in 10 people believe the excess pounds they are carrying are significant enough for them to be classified as obese, according to a YouGov poll of more than 2,100 adults.

But measurements found that more than one in four of those questioned were clinically obese, the same as official government figures. It means three in four obese people do not realise their health is at risk, warns Slimming World which commissioned the study to mark its 40th anniversary.

A person is classified as obese when they have a BMI (body mass index) greater than 30 and morbidly obese if it is more than 40. A healthy BMI is between 18.5 and 25 and overweight is between 25 and 30. A person’s BMI is calculated by dividing their weight in kilograms by their height in metres squared.

Dr Jacquie Lavin, Slimming World’s head of nutrition, said: ‘People in the UK are getting heavier and that is likely to be having an effect on their perceptions of what qualifies as obese. It is a real concern as our research confirms being overweight has a devastating impact on people’s health and happiness.’

More than one fifth of women blame having children as the main reason for gaining weight, while more than one in four men say it is because they have moved to a less active job. Almost two fifths of women were too embarrassed to let their partner see them naked because of their weight, compared to just one in five men.

Kate Winslet has the ‘ideal’ celebrity body, although curvy Kelly Brooke was the biggest hit with respondents in the higher weight categories.


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