London: It`s official. A quarter of Britain`s population are obese, new figures have revealed.
Despite a quarter being obese on the Body Mass Index (BMI) scale, a high number "deny" how severely their weight could be affecting their health. Only six per cent believe their problem is severe enough to be described as obese.
In fact, three quarters of people with an obese BMI underestimate their weight category according to the National Slimming Survey of 2,065 people.
BMI is a measurement which compares weight and height, defines people as overweight (pre-obese) if their BMI is between 25 and 30 kg/m2, and obese when it is greater than 30 kg/m2.
More than one in three respondents who are regarded as overweight said they felt weight was "the most important issue in life". Half of those classified as obese said their weight made them feel embarrassed, while others felt awkward or trapped.
Dr Jacquie Lavin, of Slimming World, was quoted by a newspaper as saying, "This worrying data reveals the complex psychological issues associated with being overweight.
"Many deny how severely it could be affecting their health by increasing their risk of diabetes, heart disease and stroke."