At the beginning of January I referred in an article to the fact that many more people are seeking medical help to try to stop them snoring and much of this increase is linked to the rising levels of obesity in the UK.
Since then even more data has been published in the Press and on TV. The statistical facts from this new report published by the NHS are extremely alarming. The main conclusion of the report, ‘State of the Nation’s Waistline’, is that over half of the UK population will be obese by the year 2050. If the current trend is not reversed there will be a cost of £50 billion per year to the National Health Service.
What is obesity?
Obesity is a term used to describe somebody who is very overweight with a high degree of body fat.
If you have a body mass index of 30 or above, you would be considered obese. It isn’t just a cosmetic issue, being obese increases your risk of developing a number of serious and potentially life-threatening diseases including heart disease and type 2 diabetes.
What are the main NHS findings?
- There has been a marked increase in obesity rates over the past eight years – in 1993 13% of men and 16% of women were obese – in 2011 this rose to 24% for men and 26% for women.
- The proportion of adults with a healthy body mass index (BMI) – defined as being between 18.5 and 25 – fell to just 34% in men and 39% in women during 2011.
- For children attending reception class (aged 4-5 years) during 2011-12, 9.5% were obese.
- During 2011-12 there were 11,736 hospital admissions due to obesity – this over 11 times higher than during 2001-02.
- In 2011, 53% of obese men and 44% of obese women were found to have high blood pressure.
The report acknowledges current government approaches to the obesity problem, including the Change4Life Programme and the Public Health Responsibility Deal, but highlights that some significant gaps that must be addressed. In summary, while there are glimmers of hope, the overall picture is bad and may be worse than previously assumed.
What is the cause of the problem?
The underlying causes of the UK’s (and most of the developed world’s) obesity epidemic are not addressed in the report, but there is a large consensus of expert opinion that the following factors are responsible, Primarily as a result of changed aspects of lifestyle including the following:
- There is easy access to cheap, high-energy food that is often aggressively marketed to people.
- People’s lifestyles and jobs are much less active than in the past and many leisure activities such as watching television, playing video games and browsing the internet are usually done sitting down.
- People drive or use public transport and walk a lot less than before.
- Higher alcohol consumption and late night eating
How do I know if I have a problem?
Snoring is the alarm call that warns you of likely health dangers and even premature death and must be acted upon immediately. Snoring itself can do great damage through poor sleep patterns, disturbed nights and oxygen deprivation – all with drastic results.
How do I tackle the problem?
Although the lifestyle aspects are hard to change, and may take considerable time to achieve results, the sleep deprivation through snoring can be solved fast – in fact almost immediately.
Stop snoring mouthpieces are recommended by all Health professionals worldwide, and are NHS approved. They are easily available and at a very low cost at under £40 for the basic mouthpiece, and work immediately to stop the problem and cut fatigue, so safeguarding future health.
They have a record of high effectiveness and also patient satisfaction.
By John Redfern