Research at Kings College, London,on 280,000 people over ten years, confirms early theories that our evolutionary heritage provides a set point which helps us stay at our maximum weight. Useful for survival maybe but these days a serious health concern with obesity linked to diabetes, cancer, and heart disease.
“These findings highlight how difficult it is for people with obesity to achieve and maintain even small amounts of weight loss. The main treatment options offered to obese patients in the UK are weight-maagement programmes accessed via their GP.This evidence suggests the current system is not working for the vast majority of obese patients” said Alison Fields at Kings College.
Jude Oben, director of Obesity Action Campaign said “Obesity is far worse than smoking and the HIV epidemic – we need to be far more aggressive than we were with both. Why aren’t we spending more money on preventing people developing diabetes, heart disease, cancer, liver disease (through obesity)”
Nick Finer at the National Centre for Cardiovascular Prevention and Outcomes said the findings showed that the NHS should start considering drug treatment for obesity as it did with high blood pressure or diabetes.
Studies have shown that some people can lose weight; 1 in 12 men and 1 in 10 women achieve a 5% weight reduction in 1 year (I’ve previously posted about research that shows that diets only work for 10% of dieters).
Just over half put the weight back on within 2 years and three-quarters within 5 years. However Professor Finer says that weight loss, even if regained, still has health benefits in preventing diabetes.
The study, reported in The Times, was published in the American Journal of Public Health