The Government predicts that by 2025, obesity rates in children will be a frightening statistic. It is thought that around 33% of girls and 25% of boys will be clinically obese. This means overweight to the extent that their health will be likely to suffer.
The rate at which UK children are getting fat is the worst in the world. There are experts that believe that the UK will top the tables as the most obese country, overtaking the USA.
Obesity and conditions related to this condition are costing the country British Pound 4billion in working days lost. Disability pay and lost tax payments through being unable to work are believed to be costing up to British Pound 20billion per annum.
Obese people are likely to visit the GP's surgeries and hospital clinic's more frequently than average weight patients and there is an increased need for treatment. With the National Health Service's cost for these "obesity" patients estimated to be at British Pound 15billion per year, it's a worrying thought that these costs will spiral as the younger generation figures come into play.
Naturally, insurance companies are showing a lot of concern about these predictions. Many of them now ask specifically for the weight of the applicant on the day that they fill in the form. Asking how heavy you were when last weighed is not quite the same thing. It's easy to get "weight amnesia" and omit a few pounds ....or more. If the answer is not to the insurer's liking the premium could rise significantly, or you may even be refused cover.
We have some figures from one of the main insurer's. Take, for example, a man in good health and aged 40 and applying for 20 years life insurance worth British Pound 100,000. If he's Mr Average, he'll weigh around 12 stone and be 5ft 10ins tall. Now consider the same person but put his weight at 18 stone. Still in good health, but the premium for his life insurance would rise by over 50%.
If a medical was insisted on and he was found to have one or two problems which would be quite usual for a person of his age and weight, then either the premiums would be considerably higher or he would be refused cover.
In the case of critical illness insurance, it's unlikely that this same person would get any cover at all. Certainly there would be a refusal if the result of a medical showed any weight-related complications, such as high blood pressure or raised cholesterol.
Women weighing over 16 stone are likely to have similar problems when it comes to insurance, and the extra cost of insurance at this weight, as opposed to "normal" weight, would be an additional 33%. Again, if in ill health or weighing very much more than this, then the ability to get cover would be doubtful.
These facts present major problems for both sexes as, due to health problems, life insurance becomes an important issue.
So what you can do to change the situation?
Life insurance in particular is extremely important. If you have a problem in organising life insurance due to obesity and possibly ill health due to the condition, then you'll need a good broker to help you to find the right company to help you. It might be expensive, but remember if you take the cover that you need now, if there is an improvement in your position at a later date and your weight has fallen, it will be possible to switch to a more reasonably priced policy.
Adjustments to your lifestyle and diet will certainly lower your premiums for life, critical illness and probably travel insurance too.
Although obese people are entitled to NHS treatment, a great many people claim that it is denied. There has been a recent survey of 70,000 hospital doctors in which it is reported that almost 50% said that patients should not be given replacement hip operations or similar. The use of free anti-obesity drugs, which you would imagine would be desirable, was challenged by a third of the doctors.
The attitude of some GP's is not helpful. Quite often the message is that you're overweight and it's time to do something about it, without any real help being offered. It also has to be said that some GP's offer real help and for patient's lucky enough to be under their care, they will offer a lot of encouragement, but it's a combined effort!
There are lots of slimming clubs offering you the chance to slim in the company of others with similar problems and they certainly seem to be extremely successful with some of their members. Some of these clubs combine exercise with diet and certainly exercise plays a large part in becoming fit and healthy.
Whilst some people find that a regime of diet and exercise, combined with a very large helping of will power and determination, will get them to their optimum weight for their age and height, others have taken more extreme action.
An operation called a gastric bypass, which costs the NHS around British Pound 12,000 per patient, is possible. It's not to be undertaken lightly and not without risks to the patient but for those who have undergone, or are about to undergo, the 5 hour operation, be assured that the results are amazing. This may sound extremely expensive, but treatment for an obesity-related illness such as diabetes could well cost more than this in just one year. We heard recently of one lady whose weight had reduced by 12 stone, from her heaviest, as a result of her operation. The "before and after" photographs are truly amazing and she's well on her way to a normal weight and wonderful new lifestyle.
Once down to an acceptable weight, insurance companies are more than happy to take you on, so don't delay in arranging some cover in the meantime. Remember, the more you lose, the more you'll gain in premium savings.
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