– ICCR and National Obesity Forum issue health warning on sugar sweetened drinks –
Men and women are putting their health at risk because of a lack of understanding of the dangers of fat stored on their bodies, reveals new research published today. 41% do not realise that having fat around their waistline is worse for their health than fat stored elsewhere on the body*.
The International Chair on Cardiometabolic Risk (ICCR), in conjunction with the National Obesity Forum, is urging people to realise the dangers of carrying excess fat around their waistlines.
Dr Jean Pierre Després, Scientific Director of the ICCR said: “Your waist circumference can indicate your level of abdominal obesity, which is a major factor for the development of type 2 diabetes and cardiovascular disease. Knowing your waist measurement is vital to help you manage your weight and your health. Measure your waist and if it is bigger than the recommended level (93cm for men and 80cm for women) then you should take steps to reduce it.”
For more information and advice on waist measurement visit the ICCR’s website at www.myhealthywaist.org”.
While 61% of adults are unhappy with the size of their waistline only 55% actually know the size of their waist, suggesting people are not monitoring their health in the correct way. 60% of women confessed to having no idea what their waistline measures.
The ICCR’s survey, which looked at people’s attitudes to their bodies and their consumption of sugar sweetened drinks, revealed that more than half of Brits (53%) admitted to not considering the impact of liquid calories on their diet meaning they could be consuming more calories than they think. Over a third of adults (36%) intending to lose weight would not cut down on sugar sweetened drinks in their diet – suggesting people are not clear on the impact on their waistline and dangers to their long term health.
Professor David Haslam, Chair of the National Obesity Forum said: “Of all parts of their body, people are most unhappy with their waistlines yet many people simply don’t realise that what you drink can be as damaging to the body as what you eat. One fifth (21%) of people admitted to drinking five or more sugar sweetened drinks which can add up to 1,500* calories a day. These calories could be saved by replacing sugar sweetened drinks with water. Worryingly, two thirds of people in Great Britain drink under the recommended daily amount of water but it really is the best solution for weight loss and rehydration.”
To calculate your level of abdominal obesity you should measure your waist with a tape measure. Diabetes UK’s definition of abdominal obesity is 93cm for men and 80cm for women.
Certain groups more prone to obesity
According to The National Obesity Forum the prevalence of obesity is higher in lower socio-economic groups and among certain ethnic groups, particularly among Black Caribbean and Pakistani women living in the UK. The high rates of diabetes among the South Asian ethnic population in Britain has led to the suggestion that South Asian individuals should be considered obese if they have a waist measurement over 88.8cm for men and 75.8cm for women.
Earlier in the year the ICCR presented findings which identified that people with Asian ethnicity are more prone to abdominal fat accumulation and liver fat deposition. This puts them at greater risk than Caucasians of developing type 2 diabetes – and an increase in body fat is even more damaging to those with Asian ethnicity. It is the view of the ICCR that the rising epidemic of obesity in Asia will have devastating public health consequences in that part of the world.
It is important we measure the calories in the drinks we consume. Here is a guideline to the number of calories in some drinks:
Drink type Calories (in a 500ml bottle)
Orange juice 280
Apple juice 300
Regular cola 227
Sports drinks 165