Balancing Weight and Health

Balancing Weight and Health

The link between weight and COVID 19 in terms of increased risk of hospitalisation or severity of symptoms has focused the nation’s attention on our crisis of being overweight or obese. Studies shows that each kg of weight gained annually over 10 years was associated with a 49% increase in risk of developing type 2 diabetes (another risk factor) and a 5 kg increment in adult body weight was associated with a 12% higher risk of heart disease over 10 years (also another risk factor). So, there is no denying something needs to be done and there is no simple, one size fits all solution. At a simplistic level weight gain is about excess calories in and not enough energy out. But it is so much more complex than that in real life. Contributing factors are: • Emotional – comfort eating or compensatory eating • Habits such as snacking – high calorie foods dense in fats and fast release carbohydrates which tend to be consumed less mindfully than main meals • Uncontrolled portions • Lack of cooking ability to cook from scratch and reduce ready meals, processed food and takeaways • Alcohol consumption • Genetic predisposition to laying down fat in different parts of the body • Poor metabolic function (digestion and gut bacteria, hormones such as insulin, thyroid and sex hormones, age) • Decreased physical activity • Stress and poor sleep These are obviously more or less important depending on the individual. In our view, people are best helped to lose weight and keep it off if they are supported to develop a vision of what they will...