Obesity related deaths rising

There has been a dramatic rise in deaths in England in which obesity was a contributory factor. Researchers from the University of Oxford say death certificates showed there were 757 obesity related deaths in 2009, compared with 358 in 2000 and that there were likely to be many more such deaths where obesity was not recorded. The researchers said that obesity was rarely listed as the main cause of death, a simple snapshot of death certificates would not have picked up the rise. The marked increase was apparent when they included contributing causes of death in the analysis.

Other figures recently released by ministers showed more than 190 people under 65 died as a direct result of obesity in 2009 compared with 88 in 2000. When contributing factors were included, there were 757 obesity related deaths in 2009 compared with 358 in 2000. Doctors are increasingly recognising obesity as a cause of death. About a quarter of adults in the UK are now obese and obesity and problems caused by being overweight are thought to cost the NHS more than £3bn a year.

People in the early stages of obesity do not often realise how dangerous being overweight could be and their weight commonly creeps up without them noticing. People also do not realise how closely linked it is with serious conditions, such as heart disease, stroke, high blood pressure and diabetes. The physiotherapy profession can play an important role in educating people about obesity and it’s possible consequences. All physiotherapists should take this rolw seriously and integrate it into their daily practice.

Read more from the BBC

Read original report from the European Journal of Public Health