Identify A Health Behavior Or Disease That Has A Significant Impact Upon A Healthy Lifestyle

3634 words - 15 pages


The developed world has witnessed a growing trend in contemporary health issues. Society has been subjected to an unprecedented increase in availability and choice, these factors influencing both temptation and convenience within the modern lifestyle. It is recognized that the contributory factors to a person’s health are not confined solely to the body’s biological state, ‘health is seen to be a state valued not in nature, but in society’ (Murcott, 1979).

Globally a steady increase in the amount of seriously overweight and obese adults and children has been observed, ‘There are now about one ...view middle of the document...

BMI is
calculated by dividing body weight (kilograms) by height (metres) squared, an adult result of between 25 and 29.9 is classified as overweight with 30 or over classified as obese (World Health Organization, 2006), in addition Han et al. (2006) highlight the classification of morbid obesity for individuals whose BMI is 40 or greater.

In children and adolescents BMI varies with age and sex making it harder to classify children as obese, for this reason a growth reference must be incorporated into measurement. In England, the British 1990 growth reference charts are used to classify the weight status of children according to their age and sex (Cole, Freeman and Preece, 1995).

It is also accepted that although a sound guide BMI measurement can be complimented by taking into account an individuals build, ‘BMI does not distinguish between mass due to body fat and mass due to muscular physique, or for the distribution of fat. Excess fat, rather than excess weight, is linked to obesity-related ill health’ (National Obesity Observatory, 2009).

Waist circumference is also a widely recognised measure used to identify those with a health risk from being overweight; a raised waist circumference presenting an increased risk to health is defined by the NHS Information Centre, (2011) as being greater than 102cm in men and 88cm in women. An individuals relative risk of developing obesity related health problems can be more accurately classified using both BMI and waist circumference than either measure alone (National Institute of Health and Clinical Excellence, 2011).

Obesity places the body under strain, changing normal functionality and putting the individual at risk, therefore increasing the probability of ill health. By the age of 40 virtually all obese people develop some associated physical symptoms with the majority requiring medical intervention for diseases that develop as a result of their obesity before they reach the age of 60 (Lean, 1998). This degree of severity is a view shared by the World Health Organization (2000); who state that ‘In addition to increasing the risk of ill health, obesity significantly increases the risk of mortality at any given age’.

Elevated BMI and abdominal obesity are associated with a number of diseases and metabolic abnormalities that have high morbidity and mortality with the major risks identified statistically as Type 2 diabetes and hypertension (NHS Information Centre, 2009). The most prominent abnormalities observed in the effects of obesity on the body include high blood pressure, high blood glucose, and high cholesterol, all significant factors that lead to outcomes detrimental to health.

Diabetes is related to a combination of metabolic abnormalities with the risk of developing Type 2 diabetes increasing steeply for those that are obese, Colditz et al. (1995) states that ‘the excess risk for diabetes with even modest and typical adult weight gain is substantial’. Type 2 diabetes is a...

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