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Two-thirds of middle-aged UK adults overweight or obese

Published on 07/11/2013

Great Britain’s obesity crisis has been highlighted by a recent report that shows just one third of middle-aged men are not overweight.

The UK obesity rates are on the rise

Nearly two thirds of adults in their 40s were overweight or obese with males more likely to have a weight problem but less likely to acknowledge or attempt to rectify it.

A study by the University of London investigated the body mass index of almost 10,000 men and women in Wales, Scotland and England. The report was led by Dr Alice Sullivan and Matt Brown.

The findings found that by the age of 42, one in four men (26%) and women (27%) were obese. British men were also found to be less self-aware with regards to their weight compared to their female counterparts.

Around 30% of overweight men thought they were “about the right weight” compared to just 9% of women who thought the same.

Dr Sullivan said: "People who are overweight or obese face a higher risk of many health problems, including cardiovascular disease, diabetes and certain cancers.

"But carrying excess weight is far more socially acceptable for men than for women and men will not respond to health messages about weight and obesity if they do not recognise that they are overweight.

"This is a particular concern given that cardiovascular disease is the leading cause of death for men aged 35 and over."

The study discovered that men and women born in the 1970s were more likely to be obese, the authors pointed towards a shift in dietary and eating habits as responsible.

Some health insurance policies can offer rewards or discounts to your premiums if you stay fit and healthy.

© ActiveQuote Ltd. 2013

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