UK obesity crisis spirals

Three quarters of UK adults overweight, say experts

Three quarters of adults in Britain are overweight, according to new research which reveals the regular method of calculating body mass is wrong.

The study states that 10% more people are overweight than was originally thought, leading to health problems including diabetes and heart disease.

Scientists say that although some people may have a normal Body Mass Index, the calculation which divides weight by height squared does not differentiate between lean mass and body fat, meaning they may still be overweight.

Dr Francisco Lopez-Jimenez, the associate professor of Medicine at America’s Mayo Clinic, spoke at the National Obesity Forum conference in London stating: ‘I believe that the UK’s obesity problem is significantly worse than we thought.

‘Our research has proved that one out of every five subjects with normal BMI has excess body fat, and that these people are at risk from metabolic abnormalities that lead to diabetes and eventually, to heart disease.’

Lopez-Jimenez explained that current reports suggest 66% of British adults are overweight or obese, however, based on the new research, the percentage is likely to be at least 75%.  

He added that doctors should employ a technique called Bioelectrical Impedance Analysis to determine their patients’ weight, rather than BMI.

The new method sends an electric current through the body so experts can see when the current hits fat tissue and can then calculate the patient’s body fat percentage.

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