Over 5.5 million Britons are now officially obese.
It’s a grim statistic: obesity can lead to arthritis and breathing difficulties as well as heart disease, stroke and cancer.
This is also costing the NHS dearly — it spends an astonishing £4 billion a year on treating obesity.
Obesity can lead to arthritis and breathing difficulties as well as heart disease, stroke and cancer
An increasingly popular option is stomach-shrinking surgery.
To qualify for this treatment on the NHS you must have a body mass index of 40, or between 35 and 40 and also have type 2 diabetes or high blood pressure.
Surgery is said to be the cheaper alternative in the long run and, last month, Scottish doctors said that unless more gastric ops were performed, the NHS would be bankrupted by the costs of diabetes and obesity care.
But is it just the ‘easy’ option?
We asked a nurse working on an obesity (or ‘bariatric’) ward at a large NHS hospital in the south of England to keep a diary for a week.
We have chosen not to reveal her name or the patients’ to protect their identities.