Health: Early-death warning for the obese

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The Independent Online
One in five adults risks an early death because of obesity, an expert warned yesterday. But many of those at risk are unlikely to be helped because doctors and patients are not on the same wavelength.

Professor Tony Winder, of the Royal Free Hospital in Hampstead, London, claims that while doctors and other health workers are concerned about the health risks associated with obesity, such as stroke, heart disease, diabetes and osteoarthritis, patients are more worried about the low self- esteem which often comes with being fat and the possible loss of their social lives.

"We all know that fat people eat more than they need, although that may still not seem much," he said. "The question is - what are we going to do about it and who is going to take the lead? First we have to get the patients and health people on the same wavelength, then to establish team systems for working with patients on their problems." The subject of how obesity should be treated was to be debated at the hospital yesterday.