Hands up, how many people in the UK have a BMI above 40?

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The shocking answer is that it’s 2 million. A staggering number isn’t it. I think the more shocking statistic is that the number is expected to grow to nearly 5 million by 2035. That will be almost 10% of the adult population.

When your BMI is above 40 you are medically classified as morbidly obese.

Although it may seem like just a number, with every point that your BMI increases your risk of an early death due to weight-related disease increases too. You are at greater risk of Type 2 Diabetes, strokes, heart disease and cancer.

From my experience most morbidly obese people I meet know perfectly well that health is impaired by their weight, but that doesn’t help them deal with it. Often I meet people who are exasperated that despite their best endeavours they simply cannot manage their weight using the techniques that their friends and family use.

These are not usually the lazy, feckless, unintelligent people they are made out to be. They don’t simply lack ‘a bit of willpower’. The people I meet are those who have concluded that the only way to manage their weight is through weight loss surgery, and for the vast majority this turns out to be one of the best decisions they ever made.

For most, it is a life-transforming decision. View our success stories.So, I guess my point is that in the years to come the chances of us knowing or having in our family someone who is morbidly increasing will more than double. They will need support to help them change their eating behaviours and the most reliable solution is surgery.

Whilst it’s a very big decision, the surgery is not nearly as risky as people might think. If you are worried about your BMI and have reached that point where you know that diets alone won’t be enough, try calling our consultants to discuss the pros and cons of surgery, and if you still aren’t ready for surgery, take a look at Slim Without Surgery, the new drug base weight loss programme that is helping patients take control of their weight.

Picture of Rishi Singhal

Rishi Singhal

Rishi is an expert bariatric surgeon based in the West Midlands and also Medical Director at Healthier Weight

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