Being overweight the new normal?

 Today England's chief medical officer said that being overweight is increasingly being seen as normal with the rising levels of overweight and obesity. However normal doesn't equal healthy. 

Figures for overweight and obesity have been increasing over the decades, now with nearly 62% of adults and 28% of children as either overweight or obese (figures DoH March 2013 policy document Reducing Obesity and Improving Diet)

Tackling the problem starts with people realising they need to take action. With research  showing half of men, a third of women and over three quarters of parents do not realise they have an issue in this area - this may be where we need to begin. 

So how do you know if you have to take action? Some will say it's obvious. However will you realise you are overweight if everyone around you looks just like you? 

Start with some basics:

Take notice if your clothes are getting tighter. 

Take your waist measure - if it's over 80cm/31.5" as a woman, or over 94cm/37" as a man you are creaping into higher risk. If it's over 88cm for a woman or 102cm for a man - then you are in the high risk category for poor health. 

Look at your BMI - with caution! This has to be taken with some understanding of what it means. It can be a poor indicator for those who have a lot of muscle tissue, the elderly and those of different ethnic groups such as Asians, as well as for children. For all these groups the BMI figures don't stand alone and need careful interpretation. There are BMI calculators online to get your levels. 

Take action as soon as you see things creaping up. At this stage it's a lot easier to make small changes that make a difference early on without much effort.This keeps you on basic healthy eating and exercise without any drastic action.