Prevention – Weight Matters

Why weight matters

•Weight is a sensitive issue for many people and getting to an ideal, healthy weight is easier said than done.

•If you have excess weight, the more weight you lose, the greater the health benefits, but even losing just 5% of extra weight will improve your health.

•You’ll have more energy and you’ll reduce your risk of developing diabetes and other serious conditions like heart disease, stroke and cancer.

•It’s a myth that losing weight slowly is better for you.

Know your weight

•BMI uses your height and weight to work out if you’re a healthy weight. It doesn’t look at how much fat you have around the middle, so that’s why you need to measure your waist too. You can work out your BMI using the NHS BMI healthy weight calculator – it will show you your target range.

•For many people living with obesity, aiming for a healthy BMI may not be realistic, however even a small weight loss can see health benefits.

Know your waist size

•A healthy waist size depends on your gender and ethnicity. It should be:

•less than 80cm (31.5in) for all women

•less than 94cm (37in) for most men

•less than 90cm (35in) for South Asian men

Getting started

•Finding a way to eat fewer calories than you need – A calorie (or kcal) is a unit of energy, which is in the food and drink we consume. Your body uses energy for everything we do – from breathing and sleeping to exercising. When you eat, you’re replacing the energy you’ve used, which helps you to maintain a healthy weight.

•As a general guide, government recommendations are that men need around 2,500kcal a day to maintain a healthy weight, and women need around 2,000kcal a day, but this can differ between people based on how their bodies work, how active they are and any weight management goals.