Obesity, in a recent study in the U.S. and U.K., has been divided into six separate categories in order to provide targeted methods treatment. In the U.S. alone, more than a third of adults, roughly 78.6 million, are classified as obese. More children as well are showing the highest level of obesity in the U.S. history. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, obesity can be the leading cause many diseases including strokes, heart disease, type 2 diabetes, and even some types of cancer.
Because there are several factors which could lead to obesity, researchers, from the Yorkshire Healthy Study cohort, developed a program in which they categorized the different types of obesity in order to combat it more effectively. In the study, data was from 4,144 obese adults, who each had a body mass index (BMI) of over 30. The average BMI of this group was 34 and the average age 56. Women made up 58 percent of this group.
Also taken into account were lifestyle patterns of the participants which included their general health, food choices, behavioral patterns, physical activity, and previous attempts to alter their eating habits. Through these details, a questionnaire was provided to medical practitioners which they in turn handed out to their patients. Once the responses of the participants were collected, the researchers were able to divide them into the following categories.
Young males who are heavy drinkers
Although this group was generally overweight, participants classified in this categories compensated their drinking with healthy behavioral patterns. Some of them belonged to a gym and exercised regularly. Also many of them did not smoke and lived non-sedentary lifestyles where they walked frequently to get from place to place.
Younger healthy females without any type of complications
The participants from this category generally displayed similar results to their young male counterparts, but without the drinking. They were reportedly the largest group in the study and mostly engaged in healthy activities, such as walking and other forms exercise, and were non-smokers as well. Though this category, as well as the previous one, were in overall good health, studies have shown that about 48 percent of these type of individuals can develop health disorders over time, such as type 2 diabetes.
Depressed or anxious people of middle age
The participants of this group were generally females who exhibited poor mental health patterns. However, out of all the six categories of obesity being targeted for treatment, these participants performed the most exercise and displayed the lowest consumption of alcohol. Still many of these individuals suffered anxiety, fatigue, depression, and insomnia
Seniors who are generally happy despite poor health conditions
Although members of this group were generally shown to live stress free lives, they also exhibited an wide array of serious health conditions. Some of these included, high blood pressure, diabetes, and osteoarthritis.
Financially wealthy adults
Participants in this category were reported to be in fairly good health, happy or physically sound. However, they displayed a higher level of alcohol consumption, as well as high blood pressure as a result of their obesity.
Financially challenged individuals in poor health
This group consisted of people who had the most financial problems out of all the participants. They exhibited the most chronic health conditions, as well as fatigue and physical pain. This group displayed the highest BMI out of all the groups.
The study, which revealed the six separate categories of obesity being targeted for treatment, was published on April 18 in the Journal of Public Health. Dr. Mark Green, from the School of Health and Related Research of the University of Sheffield, who was the primary author of the study, concluded that the next step of the program was to explore proper methods of treatment based on the results of each category. For example, he suggested that for the category of the young males who drank heavily, a program could be created to help them reduce their alcohol consumption. For the unhappy middle-aged people, a plan to increase exercise, as well as provide psychological therapy would greatly help. Taking all these patterns of each group into consideration, the researchers believe that more effective methods of treatment will be available in the future.
By Bill Ades