As defined by World Health Organization (WHO), Obesity can be defined as medical condition in which people has accumulation of excess body fat into tissues thereby leading to adverse impact on health (WHO, 2019). Obesity is determined by measuring body mass index (BMI) that can be obtained by diving individual's body weight by square of person height. Individual is considered to have obesity if their body mass is index is more than 30 kg/m2. In last 25 years, obesity rates in the UK have become almost quadrupled. From the WHO report, it is seen that currently 1 out of 4 individuals in the UK, has a high prevalence of the risk of obesity. In the UK, over 60% of adults are categorized under obesity or overweight, leaving only 33% of men and 40% women (www.healthexpress.co.uk, 2019). In the UK, obesity has always been one of the most dangerous and preventable diseases, which lead to several health issues including cardiovascular disease (CVD), diabetes and respiratory disorders. Based on the recent health report of the World Health Organization, obesity becomes one of the leading challenges in the global health spectrum (WHO, 2019). According to the Obesity Statistics in UK, 2017, the ever-increasing rate obesity supports the prediction that, the UK will have more than 11 million obese people in 2030. The increasing obesity rate can is proved to be major reason behind 7 million cases of diabetes, 500,000 cases of cancers and 6.5 million heart strokes and CVD, across the UK. This study is going to make a comprehensive discussion on obesity in order to highlight its cause and outcomes. Moreover, the study will also represent the statistical and analytical database regarding obesity in the UK and its effect on community health.


What is obesity?

In the current era, obesity is one of the most concerned issues in global healthcare framework. It has severe implications on a person's health and wellbeing (Ogden et al. 2015). World Health Organization defines obesity as the health condition on an individual in which there is accumulation of body fat is more than the normal condition (WHO, 2019). It has been estimated that generally, people suffering from obesity have body fat 20% or more than that of the individual body weight. Sometimes the terms obesity is confused with the overweight. It is true that obesity occurs due to the overweight and excess accumulation of body fat, but the two-term has different clinical meaning. A person can is obese if his or her Body Mass Index (BMI) is more than 30 kg/m2, whereas if the BMI is within the range of 25-30 kg/m2, the individual can be considered as overweight (mayoclinic.org, 2019). Body Mass Index (BMI), is the measurement that can be obtained through diving person’s weight with square of his or her height. Therefore, the Body Mass Index (BMI) is:

Body Mass Index = weight /height2

Obesity is considered as an epidemic in the UK, as this health condition puts people into high prevalence of several non-preventable diseases such as respiratory disorders, cardiovascular disease, diabetes and cancer. According to Centre of Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), there are several factors such as sex, age, ethnicity and biological condition of an individual that can impact of the relationship between body fat and BMI (www.who.int, 2019). Moreover, although BMI acts as the clinical measurement of severity of obesity, BMI cannot distinguish among the bone mass, excess fat or muscles. Moreover, BMI is also unable to provide any possible indication of fat distribution among individuals. Despite all these limitations, BMI has been proved to be one of the most effective measures in determining obesity across the world.

When it comes to discussing obesity in a comprehensive manner, it is important to discuss the cause behind this health condition. According to the National Health Service (NHS), the main cause behind obesity is improper diet more calorie and fat intake (NHS, 2019). As stated by Furukawa et al. (2017), when people consume more calorie and fat as compared to the exercise and physical activities that they do, the excess fat accumulates in their body leading to obesity. Based on the report by Centre of Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) on the obesity and overweight, except poor diet, there are other vital causes associated with obesity. These causes are sedentary lifestyles, hormonal changes, genetic factors, age and pregnancy. National Institute of Care and Excellence (NICE) also stated that along with the different causative factors of obesity there is some medical condition that has a direct influence on the accumulation of body fat (NICE, 2019). Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome (PCOD) is one of the health conditions, which leads to imbalance of reproductive hormones into the body leading to excess fat accumulation into the body (Locke et al. 2015). Prader Syndrome cause excessive hunger which compels individual to eat excess food that their body needs. Cushing syndrome is one of the health conditions, which triggers an imbalance of a particular hormone in the body, such as Cortisol, which increases the body fat, thereby leading to obesity.

Effects of obesity:

Obesity is the chronic or non-communicable health condition which becomes most leading concerns in global health framework. As stated by Hales et al. (2017), people with obesity are prevalent to different diseases such as cancer, joint and bone disease Type 2 diabetes and heart disease,

High blood pressure:

Due to accumulation of excess fat into the body, more nutrient and oxygen are required to circulate in additional fat tissue (Sahoo et al. 2015. For circulating extra blood in blood vessels, workload on heart increases, as the heart needs to pump more blood through additional blood vessels. More circulation of blood into the blood vessel poses high pressure on the artery wall (mayoclinic.org, 2019). Moreover, the excess fat during obese condition increases the heart rate as well as reduces the body’s ability in order to transport blood through the blood vessels. From the statistical report of UK Blood Pressure Association, it is seen that 1 million obese people in the UK leads to 99000 cases of high blood pressure, that is considered as one of the major causes of heart stroke and heart attack (www.bloodpressureuk.org, 2019). Moreover, the report also suggests that each year, more than 62,000 people die in the UK due to high blood pressure. According to Simmonds et al. (2016), obesity is one of the major reasons behind poor blood supply to the body adipose tissues which not only increase the chances of a heart attack but also enhance the risk of associated disorders such as respiratory diabetes and coronary arterial disease.


Based on the WHO report 2019, obesity is proved to be one of the major causes of Type 2 Diabetes (WHO, 2019). Due to excess fat accumulation in the body, the insulin secretion is decreased. Insulin is an important and major hormone that transforms the glucose into glycogen and store the glycogen into body cells for future use. However, obesity reduces the secretion of insulin which enhances the blood glucose level. According to Hales et al. (2018), due to high Body Mass Index, the body is unable to secrete sufficient amount of insulin that is important for regulating the blood glucose level.

In the UK 62% of people are obese, out of which 58% of women and 68% of men are diagnosed with obesity. The NHS report 2017 shows that more than 525,000 people are diagnosed with diabetes each year due to their excess body mass and obese health condition (NHS, 2019). The evidence-based report suggests that obesity is considered to be the major cause of developing 80-85% prevalence of type 2 diabetes. Recent research by the World Health Organisation stated that, people with obesity are 80 times more prevalent to Type 2 diabetes than normal people (www.diabetes.co.uk, 2019). Moreover, the evidence-based research suggest that people with BMI rate less than 22kg/m2 has 82% less risk of suffering from type 2 diabetes than the people with BMI rate more than 30 kg/m2.

Heart disease:

From recent research, it is proved that people with obesity are 10 times more prevalent to Atherosclerosis, which is the hardening of the arteries, than the people who don’t have an obese condition (Sahoo et al. 2015). World Health Organisation stated in a recent report that, due to deposition of excess fat into the wall of arteries, it reduces the blood supply through these arteries into the heart (WHO, 2019). This is the reason why obese people are more prevalent to coronary arterial disease and high blood pressure. Moreover, people with the obese condition are prevalent to heart attack and heart stroke due to huge pressure on the artery wall by fatty deposition. The narrowed arteries lead to reduce blood flow into the heart which not only causes a heart attack but also develops other health issues such as chest pain and blood clotting.

In the UK there are 6.5 million cases of heart disease, of which more than 65% is due to the overweight and obese condition of people. British Heart Foundation has developed Coronary heart disease statistics (2014), which shows that heart disease occurred in 1 in 5 male and 1 in 8 female in the UK (discover.dc.nihr.ac.uk, 2019). In each year more than 180,000 obese people due to the heart attack, heart failure and coronary heart disease. As compared to Western Europe, in the UK the overall Cardiovascular Disease (CVD) death rate is high due to the ever-increasing number of obese and overweight people. It has been estimated that more than, 46% of all heart disorders come from obesity and increased body mass index of people (discover.dc.nihr.ac.uk, 2019).

Respiratory issues and sleep apnea:

Excess fat accumulation poses pressure on the chest wall and lung (Deng et al. 2016). In most of the obesity cases, fat is deposited on the gaps between the alveolus and blood vessel, which reduces the transfer of proper oxygen from the gap to the bloodstream. Moreover, people with obesity and overweight face restricted breath due to extra weight in the chest wall that squeezes the lung tissues and muscle thereby causing constraints on their normal contraction and relaxation. In this context, Olson et al. (2017) stated that, obesity leads to interrupted sleep at night and heavy snoring due to improper respiratory activities.


In the UK, the sheer percentage of women suffering from obesity and overweight has the prevalence towards different type’s pg cancer such as breast cancer, gallbladder, uterus and colon cancer. From the NHS report, 2017, it is seen that obesity and overweight are considered as major cause of cancer in UK. As stated by Apovian et al. (2015), obesity leads to different types of cancer such as kidney, over, thyroid, pancreas, stomach and liver. Obesity accounts for more than 6% of cancer death in England.

Obesity in the global health context:

Obesity has become the great global issues since the last two decades. Based on the recent report by the World Health Organisation, nearly 1.6 billion adult people across the world are diagnosed with overweight, out of which nearly 400 million people are obese (WHO, 2019). Moreover, the report also suggests that approximately 20 million children in the world are affected by obesity which is the leading cause of the increasing number of childhood mortality and morbidity. Among the developed countries the UK and the US have the sheer percentage of mortality and morbidity cases due to obesity and overweight (www.publichealth.org, 2019). The UK ranks 12th out the other countries, in which children 5 years suffer from overweight and obesity due to the irregular and improper diet (www.nhs.uk, 2019). In the US, obesity is considers as the major cause of cancer. From the statistical database, it is seen that, in the US, there are 20 major and 9 minor health issues are associated with obesity and overweight. National Centre for Health Statistics shows that more than 93.3 million people in the US are affected by obesity and overweight (www.publichealth.org, 2019). The ever-increasing rate of obesity in the developed countries leads to the development of the different non-communicable diseases including stroke, Type 2 diabetes, heart disease and certain types of cancers. In South Asian countries such as India, Bangladesh and Pakistan, majority of the children and adults suffers from obesity due to the malnutrition, improper diet and poor nutritional foods. Therefore analysis of the global health context of obesity shows that obesity is one of great concern in modern life, which needs proper strategies and clinical intervention to reduce the mortality and morbidity rate in society.


From the above-mentioned discussion, it can be concluded that obesity is the leading cause of different chronic diseases like cancer, heart disease, Type 2 diabetes, metabolic dysfunctions and high blood pressure. Obesity is the health issues in which people have BMI more than 30 kg/m2. On the global health context, obesity is a great concern in modern life. The main cause of obesity is improper diet, excess and nutritional imbalances and heavy consumption of fats and calorie. On the other hand some, clinical intervention suggest that due to biological factors such as genes, health issues and metabolic misbalances, obesity can be developed. Therefore, it is high time for the world to take proper preventable strategies in order to reduce obesity by applying effective tactics.

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