Health A-Z


What is obesity?

Obesity can be measured in different ways. An easy way is to simply step on the scales and compare your actual weight with your ideal weight. The Food Standards Agency has created a height/weight chart that you may wish to check. The most widely used way to measure your weight is to calculate your body mass index (BMI). This is your weight in kilograms divided by your height in metres squared.

• If your BMI is between 25 and 29.9, you are over the ideal weight for your height (overweight).

• If your BMI is between 30 and 39.9, you are obese.

• If your BMI is over 40, you are very obese (known as ‘morbidly obese’).

The BMI calculation cannot take into account if you are particularly muscular, or if you are going through puberty (when your body is still developing).

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How can my pharmacist help me to lose weight?

All pharmacies can give you tips and advice on how to maintain a healthy weight as well as how to lose weight. They can signpost you to physical activity, fitness classes and give advice on healthy eating and nutritional advice. They can also make you aware of the risks associated with being overweight and obese such as diabetes type 2 and heart disease. Some pharmacies offer services to support weight loss, which can include the provision of medicines.