Being overweight or obese are increasingly common problems.
1 in 4 adults and 1 in 5 children are estimated to currently be living with obesity.
What causes people to be overweight or obese?
Being overweight or obese are caused by excess calories being stored in the body as fat.
Often, it is difficult to pinpoint one cause.
- Some people struggle to eat healthily or take enough exercise.
- Some peoples genes affect how their bodies process calories and store fat.
- Some people have medical conditions which might contribute to weight gain e.g. having an underactive thyroid.
- Some people takes medicines which might contribute to weight gain e.g. steroids or medicines used to treat mental health conditions.
What are the risks of being overweight or obese
Being overweight or obese can affect your quality of life causing low self-esteem, poor confidence and can even contribute to mental health problems such as depression.
It can also cause difficulties in everyday life such as:
- Difficulty performing physical activity
- Tiredness and fatigue
- Joint aches and pains
Most importantly being overweight or obese can increase your risk of more serious health conditions such as:
Body Mass Index (BMI)
The most commonly used tool to check if you're overweight is body mass index (BMI).
BMI does have its limitations but for most people, BMI is a useful indication of whether they’re a healthy weight.
For most adults, if your BMI is:
|BMI below 18.5
|you are classed as underweight
|BMI 18.5 to 24.9
|you are classed as healthy weight
|BMI 25 to 29.9
|you are classed as overweight
|BMI 30 to 39.9
|you are classed as obese
|BMI 40 or above
|you are classed as severely obese
If you have a South Asian, Chinese, other Asian, Middle Eastern, Black African or African-Caribbean family background you’ll need to use a lower BMI score to measure overweight and obesity:
|BMI 23 to 27.4
|you are classed as overweight
|BMI 27.5 or above
|you are classed as obese
If you are overweight, losing weight will help boost your energy levels, increase your confidence and help reduce the risk of other health conditions such as type 2 diabetes and heart disease.
The best was to manage your weight is to eat healthily and exercise regularly.
Making small, simple changes can make a big difference long term.
Weight Management Services
NHS weight management services adopt a ‘tiered’ approach.
Tier 1 weight management is self-care and there are a number of resources available to help you manage your weight.
The NHS Better Health site has a helpful page dedicated to weight loss where you will find a variety of resources to help you manage your weight.
The NHS website has some helpful pages dedicated to weight loss where you will find information to help you manage your weight.
NHS Weight Loss App
NHS Food Scanner App
Couch to 5K App
If self-care does not work for you, tier 2 weight management services offer a free 12 week virtual, digital or face to face programme delivered by health professionals including Nutritionists and Physical Activity Specialists.
The 12 week programme consists of both nutritional guidance and exercise sessions.
Alternatively a free 12 week subscription to Weight Watchers or Slimming World May be offered.
- Anyone aged 16+ who lives in Cambridgeshire or Peterborough or anyone registered with a GP in Cambridgeshire or Peterborough
- BMI equal or greater than 25 (or greater than 23 if you are from a South Asian, Chinese, other Asian, Middle Eastern, Black African or African-Caribbean family background)
Tier 2 weight management services in Cambridgeshire & Peterborough are provided by Healthy You. They accept self-referral without the need to speak to a GP or Nurse.
Phone 0333 005 0093
Text ‘healthyu’ to 60777
If tiers 1 and 2 have not worked for you, tier 3 weight management services offer a more intensive non-surgical approach to help you lose weight.
Tier 3 weight management services are delivered by health professionals including Doctors, Dieticians, Psychologists and Physical Activity Specialists to provide weight management and sustainable behaviour change.
Tiers 3 weight management services in Cambridgeshire & Peterborough are also accessed through Healthy You.
However, a GP referral is needed to access tier 3 support.
Measurements including your height, weight, BMI, blood pressure and a series of blood tests are required prior to referral into tier 3 weight management services.
Speak to your GP if you think you meet the eligibility criteria below.
- Anyone aged 18+ who lives in Cambridgeshire or Peterborough or anyone registered with a GP in Cambridgeshire or Peterborough
- Must have engaged with a tier-2 weight loss intervention within the two years prior to referral to tier-3
- BMI equal or greater than 40
- BMI equal or greater than 35 with weight related co-morbidities, such as high blood pressure, type 2 diabetes or obstructive sleep apnoea
- BMI equal or greater than 30 with complex needs and has not responded to previous tier interventions
- Anyone who has an active binge eating disorder or bulimia nervosa
- Anyone who has active psychosis or a significant mental health disorder that would prevent engagement with the service
- Anyone who has an active Substance Abuse Disorder (including alcohol)
- Patients who have undergone previous Bariatric Surgery
There is currently a waiting list of 12-18 months for tier 3 weight management services in Cambridgeshire & Peterborough but patients are offered ongoing support from the tier 2 service whilst waiting.
Tier 4 weight management services, or specialist bariatric services, offer surgical management to help you lose weight.
Tier 4 weight management services in Cambridgeshire & Peterborough are provided through the Luton & Dunstable Hospital.
If you are eligible, tier 3 weight management services will be able to refer you on to tier 4.