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Clinically obese -can this be right?

Hi folks, just wanted a bit of advice and have been told this site is really good! So I went for a check up at the doctors the other day (they advise you to go at least every 5 years at my practice) and the practice nurse weighed me, took my blood pressure etc. When I asked if everything was OK she said your blood pressure is fine but you could do with losing some weight. I wasn't that surprised by this as I am 5ft 10 and about 14 stone which gives me a bmi of about 28. However she then told me that I was borderline obese and asked to measure my waist which she said was 43 inches (I wear a 36-inch waist in jeans!). After measuring my waist she said she was going to have to put me in the obese category because of my waist measurement and handed me a list of options for losing weight (including Weight Watchers and slimming world, she also said I could consider a gastric balloon, surely that can't be right?)
Is she being melodramatic or am I in denial, what do you folks think?
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I personally think shes being a bit over reactive. I cannot believe she actually suggested surgery :eek: Theres no way youre in a catagory for that, dont get too hung up on BMI though, it doesnt take a lot of other factors into account.

My brother is classed as obese, hes a firefighter and theres not an ounce of fat on him but with his work and the training he does he has a lot of muscle so technically using a very outdated system hes overweight. In actual fact if he lost any hed probably not be fully fit to do such an intense job

If you feel you want to lose a bit of weight then there are loads of nice healthy ways to do it :)
Thanks for the quick reply, starlight and well done on your fantastic weight loss! I think I ought to try and lose a bit of the weight, she told me that I should be 12 stone at the very most and ideally closer to 11. As well as the other ideas above, she also gave me a diet sheet that I could try and follow, it is 1200 calories of low-fat food in the week and 1500 at the weekends.


Gold Member
S: 237lb C: 224.5lb G: 198lb BMI: 35.2 Loss: 12.5lb(5.27%)
I fit into 36" jeans too, but those measurements in the jeans are not right, they have increased the actual size over the years. The 43 inches sounds about right. I'm 44.5inch waist which would make me morbidly obese. The waist measurement is what increases the risk of many conditions greatly. Even if you had a BMI in the obese category (30+ or if you are South Asian, 28+), if your waist measurement was low compared to your hips, it wouldn't matter so much. I don't think she was being melodramatic. I do think however that although gastric balloon may be an option, that first non-invasive methods should be tried as they tend to have less side effects (although larger failure rates long term). I'm sure you're perfectly capable of trying to lose weight yourself, and if you tried and were unable to do so, or unable to keep it off, that would be the time to discuss further options I would have thought. I don't think you should worry too much about the speed of weight loss, as long as the scales are moving in the right direction. I'd be pretty happy with a pound or 2 a week. If you're a guy, then often they lose from the waist first anyhow, which is ideal in your situation. I wouldn't cut down your calories under 1600-1800...it might make you unnecessarily miserable (it's not nice being hungry all the time!). Upping exercise (e.g. walking) is always good for weight loss.

Good luck :)
Thanks for the quick reply, starlight and well done on your fantastic weight loss! I think I ought to try and lose a bit of the weight, she told me that I should be 12 stone at the very most and ideally closer to 11. As well as the other ideas above, she also gave me a diet sheet that I could try and follow, it is 1200 calories of low-fat food in the week and 1500 at the weekends.
That sounds like a really sensible option.

Surgery is an absolute last resort for people and I dont think Ive ever seen anyone whos 2 stone overweight have it suggested. I suspect your doctor would (quite rightly) knock that idea on the head if you wanted to pursue it :)
Thank you for your honest replies. I am going to start the diet on Monday. I honestly thought I had only about 10lb or so to lose before being told otherwise. I certainly never believed myself obese!How long do you think it should take me to get to my target if I am for about 11 and a half stone?
S: 16st9lb C: 11st0lb G: 10st0lb BMI: 27.3 Loss: 5st9lb(33.91%)
If your bmi is between 25-30 you are in the over weight category not obese, if you want to loose weight then do it, but don't get too concerned with numbers, just loose weight until you are happy with how you look and feel.
I was under the impression the benchmark was a bmi of 30 as well. I think the nurse was implying that it was my waist measurement which made her consider me obese.
S: 18st8lb C: 11st9lb G: 10st0lb BMI: 28.9 Loss: 6st13lb(37.31%)
She is probably worried about your visceral fat level (fat round the heart and liver etc), which is what can make you more at risk of the obesity-related illnesses. Losing weight in general will of course also deal with that.
S: 13st3.5lb C: 12st7lb G: 10st6lb BMI: 30 Loss: 0st10.5lb(5.66%)
The nurse is probably referring to the waist to hip ratio where less than 0.8 is acceptable. This is where those with smaller waists get away with larger weights but those with larger waist measurements have to be careful as there are health risks with excess fat around the middle.

Obese is a very strong word. My current BMI is 30.7 so I am in the obese category and I know I wouldn't be considered obese to someone looking at me. However, those categories are there for a reason and if it helps my health long term I want to keep going until I'm in the 20-25 BMI category. I understand what someone said about going until you're happy with your weight but unfortunately heart disease, stroke etc becomes a higher risk at higher BMIs so surely this is a good enough reason to improve all of our weights.

Good luck in whatever you decide to do.
S: 24st1lb C: 22st7lb G: 10st10lb BMI: 42.7 Loss: 1st8lb(6.53%)
Yes yes yes, we all know by now that BMI is not an accurate portrayal of the composition of your body but as the nurse measured your waist and then took the leap I think it's safe to say (no offense!) that your BMI would be about right...unless your packing 40 odd inches of pure muscle, in which case I think you'd know about it and probably wouldn't be on here asking for advice!

I'm really suprised she jumped on surgery so soon though...I've a BMI of what, 47, I can tell you now that unless my bones are abnormally heavy that's pretty much spot on because I'm not exactly active and I don't lift weights. Still, it took years to put it on and in those years my doctors have been badgering me to get it off again. Not a single one has ever suggested surgery!

Cut down on the junk foods, take some time to work out, be careful with what you put in your mouth and you'll probably be fine. I'm aiming for the 11 stone mark to be slap bang in the middle of my "healthy" BMI range and I wish I was still 14 stone with only two to loose, so hop to it before you get to my point and forget about weight loss surgery, you'll not be able to eat "properly" per se afterwards for pretty much the rest of your life...that might be a worth while trade off for someone with much more to loose (it worked wonders for my aunt who was approaching my size after all), but for the sake of two stone, wow, I'm gobsmacked that anyone even hinted it to you!
S: 16st9lb C: 11st0lb G: 10st0lb BMI: 27.3 Loss: 5st9lb(33.91%)
As I know bmi was originally used to measure people stats in coma's it is a very rough guideline, many athletes especially rugby players who can be at peak health will have a bmi of overweight or obese. If you are really concerned then get your fat percentages and everything done, don't just go by bmi. I say stick with a weight you are happy with not just a bmi because if you don't have much fat on you and you are healthy blood pressure ect then why make yourself underweight which won't be healthy because of a bmi. Concentrate more on getting your fat percentage down not bmi.
My BMI is 25.13 but still classed as overweight ... Even though sometimes I feel ok... But the overweight label can really get to you.. Even when your working so hard x
Thanks for all the replies, just want to reassure everyone that I am not giving the surgery serious consideration. The nurse mentioned that I was qualified for it but she did say that the most sensible option was to go on a calorie controlled diet.
Emma, where is the best place to get my bodyfat checked, please?
I think the bmi scales at boots might do it?
S: 16st9lb C: 11st0lb G: 10st0lb BMI: 27.3 Loss: 5st9lb(33.91%)
Find a proper health club, I wouldn't measure body fat by standing on scales, you can get it checked by either sitting in a machine like pod or they use the pincer things. But a good health club will do it look online, on yell to find some where in your area
S: 21st0.5lb C: 22st5lb G: 13st7lb BMI: 46.2 Loss: -1st4.5lb(-6.28%)
Yeah, I tend to focus on body fat because not only does BMI not take important factors into account (such as muscle, bone density) the graph and categories vary wildly from practice to practice, internet site to internet site.

However, even with body fat its important to remember results can vary widely as well - depending on which method they use, you can get completely different results.

My personal opinion (though I focus on body fat more than BMI) is that there is no real way to measure how healthy we are. Our best "measurer" for our health, like everything else in the world, is our gut and our instincts. Obviously some people live in denial with how unhealthy they are, but once they and we and you and i get started on our health journeys, only we know when we feel good, only we know when we're happy with ourselves, and only we know when we're truly healthy - mind, body and spirit.

Whoops, sounded a bit new age there hehe =)
Managed to book a gym induction and get my body fat tested with the pincers/calipers as well as bmi and various other things. It is 27%. The trainer said he thought I should be aiming for 15-20%.


I can haz cake?
S: 280lb C: 249.0lb G: 208.5lb BMI: 35.7 Loss: 31lb(11.07%)
medically speaking they don't go purely by bmi anymore, depending on the nhs trust you fall under they can go by many things; bmi, body fat, waist to hip ratio, waist to height ratio.

Although yeah gastric op at a bmi in the 20s seems rather drastic. some nhs trust areas won't even consider you until you are in the 50's and most in the 40s! Definitely stick at healthy eating for now x

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