Sunday, April 18News For London

Obesity now a serious health concern

Obesity should be a national priority as it will be the biggest challenge for women’s health in the future, emphasises England’s medical chief officer, Dame Sally Davies in the annual health report.

Obese women
Obese womens’ lives are at risk

Photo credit : Flickr

The report aims to empower women and their families to lead healthier lives.

It is the first ever report that addresses women’s health and has 17 recommendations to tackle this issue. According to Davies “Women’s health can no longer be side-lined, as this is a national risk,”

What are the health risks ?

If a woman remains obese, it will shorten her lifespan, cause miscarriages during pregnancy or her children might grow up with health problems, warned Davies.

This is also the case for Merila Gerard, who became obese after her first pregnancy had many complications during her second pregnancy. Speaking to Westminster World, she said: “As its normal for women to gain weight after their first pregnancy, obesity can affect the health your next baby. After I read a report that this has been proven, I advised all pregnant women to loss the excess fat after giving birth.”

There are numerous other health risks involved with obesity. A woman can suffer from Type 2 diabetes, stroke, breast cancer and bowel cancer according to the NHS. About 90 per cent of Type 2 diabetics are obese, according to Public Health England. 

Elaine Ginny, who suffered from obesity recounted her health struggle, explained to Westminster World: “I was obese for a long time, and I didn’t get time to exercise. I suffered from Type 2 diabetes, as a result. It took me years to cure myself of it.”

There are various other psychological impacts of being obese, also affecting womens’ daily life; “As I gained weight, I considered myself unattractive and fat. I had low self-esteem and I was constantly depressed. I couldn’t work or study due my depression,” said Ginny.

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How serious is this issue?

About 10.7 per cent of females aged between 18-45 in England are obese as per the data obtained from Public Health England. Modern lifestyle which is characterised by excessive consumption of unhealthy food and lack of exercise constitutes to this cause. The NHS also outlines this reason among others for obesity. There has been about a 30 per cent increase in the number women who suffer from diabetes between 1993 to 2012, according to Public Health England .

Dr. Ravindra Kumar, a physician and gynaecologist gave Westminster World the following advise: “An unhealthy diet is the main cause for obesity. Women don’t exercise enough and are confined to their office desks or sofas. If they try eating healthy, this could reduce the chances of them getting obese.”

The annual report by England’s Chief Medical Officer, Dame Sally Davies is one of the many steps taken to improve women’s health in England. Whether this report will improve women’s heath in the future or not, is yet to be determined.

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