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10 Million Brits unaware they are obese!

Personally this doesn't surprise me. I've learned of friends/family who look a very healthy weight get told they're obese by their Drs according to the BMI chart. And then there is those who carry little fat, but have a large frame, will still be classed as obese.
BMI isn't that accurate, I've said this before somewhere, but I have a friend who is my height, but really skinny whereas I have a large frame with wide shoulders and a 48" chest, so how could we have the same BMI?
Well, I have checked my BMI (only cos i am dieting) and i am obese , but not in denial anymore, i used to not go near a set of scales, let alone get on them ! Jim, how did you find Atkins ? I did it years ago, not the drinks just the low carb, plenty of meat, i am on LL and although in ketosis, i have stayed the same weight for three days, maybe i need to eat rather than shakes, or just be patient !!
Hi Janny,

I had tried all sorts of diets starting in about 2000 Janny, then early 2002 I read an article about Atkins, went out and found the original '72 book in a car boot sale. My missus and I had a long talk about it and then I spoke to my Dr. he wasn't enthusiastic but as he was the one telling me to lose weight or I'd die he agreed. He made me take the full set of blood tests and wanted me to come back every month and do them again so he could monitor what was happening. Fortunately, although my first set of tests were dreadful, from then on they improved month by month and I was losing loads of weight so he was pleased and impressed.
I completely agree with this. I had no idea my BMI was high enough to class me as obese and now although I'm still classed as overweight I'm getting closer to a healthy weight. Most people look at me and say I don't need to lose weight but when I actually found I was classed as obese it was the shock I needed to get me dieting!
Id never go by BMI. My brother is classed as over weight or very overweight cant remember which. Hes 6 ft tall. Eats healthily is a firefighter and hasnt an ounce of fat on him. Theres no way hes overweight let alone very - but his BMI says he is. It just doesnt factor in enough other factors to be accurate, yet its the thing everyone seems to be setting store by these days :(
Discounting bmi... Isn't it that people are not unaware they are obese... just they don't want to admit either to themselves or others they are.

Personally I've always known I was overweight/obese... its hard to not know. But I remember one time being shocked by someones comments 'you'd look pretty if you lost about 5 stone'... because at that point thats about how much I needed to lose *I* knew that just had convinced myself noone else had noticed.
You have to realise who commissioned, and paid for this research, (Slimming World) In this case, the company wants to present data that not just supports the notion that their company is growing, but that the ingenuity of their business strategies is paying off.

They are not going to find that actually people are really intelligent and that they are doing something about their weight. Millions of us arent stupid and there are loads of reasons for being overweight, but not to the point of being completely oblivious.

Just saying that take these statistics with a massive pinch of salt!!

Annie x
I cant see how it makes any difference who commissioned the report. SW arent saying 'Quick come to our classes' or saying theyre the only way to combat the problem. It even says most people would consider ONE weight loss option that could be any diet at all. I think its probably fair to say most people - unless theyre involved in a diet arent totally familiar with whats classed as obese. Id imagine a lot of people think of obese as hugely overweight people...


Is determined to do this!
I agree with you there, Starlight. I didn't realise I am (started as very-) obese. When I imagine an obese person, I imagine someone much bigger than me, so have to say it came as a shock.
I also think BMI can be direction giving, but def cannot be totally trusted,as it doesnt take muscle into account.
I cant see how it makes any difference who commissioned the report.
The joy (or, perhaps, misery) of a qualification in Media Studies is that I can see how it makes a difference who commissioned a study.

Truth is a very mutable commodity. Perhaps the easiest example of how mutable is filmed documentaries. Viewers think "This is true, I am seeing the evidence before my very eyes", but the fact is that the director chooses what to point his or her camera at, and the editor chooses what frames make it into the final cut. I'm sure no-one here would take Sergei Eisenstein's early work nor the Nazi propogandist (yet skilfully made) documentaries of Leni Riefenstahl as "Truth". And absolutely nobody sensible would take Birth of a Nation as True, even though D. W. Griffiths invented many of the ways in which cinematographers now work.

Back to the subject of a study, then. The person commissioning it will advise which questions they want asking. They will set the parameters of the study. They will decide what is in and what is out of scope. And they will decide the goal of the study (because all studies have a goal in mind, else there is nothing to study). It is also possible to discount results which do not support the study's goal, or to tackle those results and "prove" them the exception rather than the rule - the latter is standard A-Level essaying technique, so imagine what a bunch of researchers and marketers with degrees can come up with.

I'm neither supporting nor denouncing this particular study. I never accept a news item from a single source as "truth", because even though journalism claims to be non-biased, the fact is that a journalist chooses what to write about, and an editor chooses what to publish (and having been both an editor and a writer over the years, I can assure you an editor targets their publication to their audience, and writers who don't just don't get published).

The key that this particular study is a marketing exercise is in this one line: "It means three in four obese people do not realise their health is at risk, warns Slimming World which commissioned the study to mark its 40th anniversary."

Breaking this down using the ole Media Studies toolbox, how this sentence reads to the subconscious mind of the reader is this:
"Three in four people are fat. That's a 75% chance of it being YOU, fatty. Being fat is dangerous. Slimming World are successful - they've lasted 40 years! You're fat. You should go to Slimming World."

It's one of the most insidious forms of marketing there is, because people tend to blip over adverts, but they pay attention to "news". Particularly news which carries strong, attention grabbing words like warn, clinically (smacks of authority, carrying the weight of doctors), research (again, voice of authority), devastating (Oh my god, you could DIE! Everybody panic!), morbidly (again, you could DIE!), and significant improvements (Thank god! Save me, Slimming World, save me!).

It's how you tell any story. You go down, and down, and down, and you hit the bottom, and then the messiah appears. Hurrah! And what's the final?
Battle against obesity.

We're liking to wage war on things in this last decade. Waging war sells copy, it gets people angry and passionate, it makes them get up and do things. And, sure, some people might get up and go join Slimming World. Obviously not everyone who reads that piece will. Marketing's like that = You can have your advert seen by 100 people, and 10 might take an interest. But only 1 will follow through that interest and become a customer, maybe even fewer.

When your advert comes as a news story from a right-wing paper whose job is to shock its readers and grab their attention to make them buy a copy? Well, then you're targetting an audience who likes to be shocked and appalled. Your hit rate will be far higher. Your successes more than just 1 in 100.

Ultimately Slimming World does help a lot of people. But it is a business, and businesses need customers if they're to make money and stay in business. While I wouldn't say that the study is nonsense because SW commissioned it, I would say that often it really does matter who's supplying the money.
Absolutely. I would never advocate dismissing anything someone hears or reads. I just advise caution. After all, because it's privately funded research, we've no idea how many studies they commissioned and binned ;)
Putting aside who commissioned what (I've seen similar tests of 'independant' lab tests of ammunition but thats a different topic) I wouldn't be too surprised if the gist of the article was true.

Harsh as it sounds I personally subscribe to the thought "If bits of you wobble like a jelly then you are fat" unforetunately people are either in denial or have such a poor relationship with food/understanding of nutrition/poor lifestyle and nutritional balance which leads to us (not just the forum people in general) getting fatter and because the general increase in weight is seen in the majority its seen as normal.

On the matter of BMI, it unforetunately IS accurate enough for normal people, why do you think it has a general healthy range for every height? I'm a stockily built 5' 10'' inch guy with broad shoulders and a big chest, to get to the outer edge of a healthy BMI I would need to weigh 80kg, having lost a lot of weight when I was 17 and got to 89kg a lot of people thought I was ill but I was healthier than ever. A friend of mine who does a lot of mountaineering is only slightly taller than me but has a much more lithe frame, he weighs 70kg, a BMI of 22. While he doesn't have a lot of muscle mass what muscle he does have is clearly defined.

Another friend weighs 60kg and has a BMI of 19 (same height as me
) which is the very low edge of healthy weight and he looks like and has been at risk of being blown away when up hills in Scotland.

The only people who can complain about BMI are people who have lifestyles that demand a development of their physique outwidth the norm of typical demands, so a firefighter who needs the muscle mass to be strong enough to haul an unconcious body out of a building, carry his weight and equipment up a ladder and through a window will naturally be heavier than someone who does an office job for example.

Muscle tissues are also smaller in physical volume for the same weight as adipose tissue (Fat). Think of it like having a pound of lead and a pound of feathers, both weigh a pound but you'll see a lot more feathers.

Either way, I remember seeing how male average waist band sizes have gone from 34 to 38 over the last 15 years or so and combined with reports of clothing stores also changing the definitions of their sizes and the variance in fit/cut of trouses across different stores over time it doesn't surprise me that yes, the nation is indeed getting fatter and people just don't seem to be catching on to the fact or doing enough to correct it.

While the article may have some dramatic wording, I talk to 3-5 people who work in a medical profession and they believe that in 5 years time we will start to see a massive influx of people being admitted to hospital with conditions where obesity will be the contributing factor.
Agree with many of the points made about the validity of BMI and this study but also I wanted to say that I do feel many obese people have no idea their health is at risk because they are in denial. If and when they lose weight (and the same goes for overweight) they/we often look back in horror. It seems like along with weight loss, the scales fall from our eyes. The two times I've felt fattest in my life when I looked in the mirror were both times i had taken the steps to lose some weight and lost a few pounds and became more critical and honest with myself about what I saw in the mirror and how I felt about my body. Just my two cents worth.

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