The National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) has released weight loss guidelines to help combat the common health problems posed by obesity.
The guidelines – which place a lot of the blame for obesity on coffee culture, high protein sports drinks, and smart phones – emphasises the importance of exercise in maintaining a healthy weight.
The guidelines recommend that people with sedentary lifestyles carry out small physical activities, like dancing, gardening, or brisk walking up a hill.
It also suggests that people drink water instead of sugary drinks, and watch less television.
Diet should be based vegetables, fruit, beans, and fish.
NICE points out that the number of people with obesity has doubled in the last 20 years, with figures continuing to rise. In 2050, obesity could cost the NHS £50 billion.
Obesity directly increases the risk of a number of health problems, including type 2 diabetes, heart disease, stroke, and some forms of cancer.
But a lack of education also contributes to the problem of obesity, with many people simply being unaware as to which foods are healthy and which are not. Moreover, healthy food is more expensive, making the problem a social, political, and economic one.
To address this, NICE has aimed the guidelines at healthcare practitioners rather than obese patients, with the focus being on encouraging proper communication of the benefits of healthy living. With the right education, people may be more likely to adopt a healthier lifestyle.
Professor Gillian Leng, deputy chief executive and director of health and social care at NICE, said: “A significant amount of effort is needed to lose weight and keep it off- it is often much easier to make changes to physical activity and diet to help maintain a healthy weight or prevent weight gain.
“This guidance sets out the many things individuals can do to maintain a healthy weight that are known to be effective: walking more, limiting TV and other screen time, eating more healthily, avoiding sugary drinks and drinking less alcohol.”
Professor Nick Finer, consultant endocrinologist and bariatric physician at UCL Hospitals, said: “Maintaining a healthy weight, or losing even modest amounts of weight if overweight, brings both immediate and long-term benefits – for example preventing the development of high blood pressure or diabetes.
“These guidelines should help the public and health care professionals, to access advice and support that is based on evidence so avoiding ineffective and fad approaches to weight management.”

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