Obesity has six types not one
London, April 19:
There are six different types of obese people and targeting them by type results in better treatment than a one-size-fits-all approach, says a study.
The six groups identified by researchers from the University of Sheffield in Britain are young males who were heavy drinkers, middle-aged individuals who were unhappy and anxious, older people who despite living with physical health conditions were happy, younger healthy females, older affluent healthy adults and individuals with very poor health.
“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,” said lead researcher Mark Green.
The research showed that those in the groups that we identified will respond differently to different health promotion policies, he pointed out.
The researchers suggested that alcohol reduction could help tackle obesity in young adults while for middle-aged individuals who are unhappy and anxious, an intervention involving increasing exercise mixed with psycho-social counselling could be beneficial.
Young healthy females may not need any intervention, the study noted.
For those in the poorest health group, the study showed, advice surrounding exercise may not be reasonable and much more modest goals may be needed and for the affluent healthy elderly weight loss could be a priority.
For the study, the researchers used data from the Yorkshire Health Study which included 4,144 obese individuals with a body mass index (BMI) of 30 or more.
The findings appeared in the Journal of Public Health. (IANS)