The Hospital Group

The Hospital Group

November 01, 2009 19:00 ET

Study Reveals the Real Cost of Britain's Obese

LONDON, UNITED KINGDOM--(Marketwire - Nov. 2, 2009) -

Editors Note: There is a video associated with this press release.

Half of Britain's obese are seriously damaging their wealth prospects as well as their health, a new study has revealed.

Around 3.4 million obese Britons bring in an annual income below the national average, if those surveyed are typical of the wider population. Of the 2,056 adults questioned by YouGov, 46% had a personal income under Pounds Sterling 20,000. (i)

The research for the UK's leading obesity surgery experts, The Hospital Group, found that along with earning less, obese Britons - those with a Body Mass Index above 30 - were suffering the real cost of obesity in every area of their lives.

And, such is the scale of the problem, this 'tipping point' into a poorer life starts at just 18 stone. (ii)

The research, part of the Real Cost of Obesity report commissioned to coincide with National Obesity Week (2-8 Nov), also showed:

- Nearly half (45 per cent) admitted their weight prevented them playing with their children, with kickabouts in the park, swapping clothes with their teenagers and enjoying rollercoaster rides ranking as key disappointments. (iv)

- Almost a quarter (22 per cent) admitted their children or family had hinted at embarrassment or concern about their weight. (iv)

- The 30 respondents questioned who ranked as severely obese spend nearly 60 per cent more on their personal weekly food shop than those with a 'normal' BMI (Pounds Sterling 39.40, compared to Pounds Sterling 61.70) (iii), according to - enough to feed almost three people. (v)

- One in ten obese people admitted their weight has held them back in their career. (v)

Leading dietitian and Head of Weight Management Services at The Hospital Group, Cirian Marie-Beddoes, said: "If we don't start to take control of this problem, a whole generation will become too unfit to live their lives fully.

"The Real Cost of Obesity report has shown just that - already the obese in Britain are suffering in their careers, family life and health."

Beddoes added: "At The Hospital Group, we regularly see people for weight loss surgery at about 18 stone. Of course, everyone has a tipping point regardless of weight - which has a great deal to do with psychology. When the patient has reached the stage where it is more painful for them to move forwards and lose weight than stay as they are, that's when their life will begin to take that downwards turn."

Researchers also found that a lack of awareness wasn't necessarily the problem, with 49 per cent blaming their poor diet and 63 per cent a lack of exercise. Also cited were stress and being too busy to do anything about it. (iv)


All figures, unless otherwise stated, are from YouGov Plc. Total sample size was 2056 adults. Fieldwork was undertaken between 5th-7th October 2009. The survey was carried out online. The figures have been weighted and are representative of all GB adults (aged 18+).

OnePoll questioned 4000 adults between 19-21 October 2009. The survey was carried out online and the panel used was aged 16+ and nationally representative.


Office of National Statistics suggest average personal income is Pounds Sterling 20,299.57

46% of the obese and severely obese respondents questioned earn less than Pounds Sterling 20,000 - which is the equivalent of 7% of the population (i.e. 45% of 314 equals 146/200 equals 0.007)

Meaning if those surveyed are typical of the wider population:

0.07 x 49,106,400 equals 3,437,448

(ii) The Hospital Group records.

(iii) Participants were asked to estimate how much they spent weekly on groceries just for themselves, not their household.

(iv) One Poll

(v) You Gov

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