A recent study reveals that there are six different types of obesity. Focusing on the specific type of obesity that a person has can help in weight reduction and management.
The study was conducted by researchers from the University of Sheffield. They found that all obese people are being treated the same way.
Dr. Mark Green at the university's School of Health and Related Research (ScHARR), who led the research, distinguishes obesity into six categories: young males who are heavy drinkers; younger healthy females; middle-aged anxious and unhappy people; elderly individuals suffering with physical medical conditions but were happy; people who have poor health; and older well-off healthy adults.
Green believes that different types of obesity cannot be treated identically. Healthcare professionals should understand the importance of individual types of obesity then recommend the necessary treatment to patients.
A customized healthcare strategy can help individuals adopt a healthy lifestyle and lose weight. This targeted approach toward obese people, the researchers say, will also lead to a more efficient use of a country's healthcare system.
"Policies designed to tackle obesity and encourage healthier lifestyles often target individuals just because they are obese. But a focus on just the group as a whole is not very efficient. We are all different and different health promotion approaches work for different people," said Green.
The study found that individuals react differently to health policies drawn by the government. General practitioners (GPs) should keep in mind the six distinct types of obesity before giving any health advice to people.
The study highlights how the reduction of alcohol consumption among young males should address the obesity epidemic to a certain extent. Middle-aged people who are anxious and unhappy should also get psychological and social counseling to assist them in confronting the issue of obesity.
Young and healthy females may need no intervention, the researchers believe. On the other hand, obese people in the poorest health group should not be advised of heavy exercise and should be guided toward modest physical activity. Obese individuals in the affluent and healthy group should, however, focus on weight loss.
Obesity is a growing problem in the entire world. About one-third of American adults are either obese or overweight. It is important for governments throughout the world to understand the problems related to obesity and take relevant steps to fight the epidemic.
Photo: Emilio Labrador | Flickr