A new study has dished light on different methods on how one can tackle obesity after identifying six different models of obesity.
The study conducted at University of Sheffield found out that currently individuals are often treated the same regardless of how healthy they are, where they live or their behavioural characteristics.The research found those who have a BMI of 30 or over actually fit into one of six groups and strategies to successfully tackle weight loss should be tailored according to which group they fall into.
The study, led by Dr Mark Green from the University's School of Health and Related Research (ScHARR), identified the six groups as i.e. 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.
Researchers highlighted the importance for health policy makers to recognise differences in individuals with obesity and to target or tailor interventions accordingly. The approach may not just be more effective in helping individuals to achieve a healthier lifestyle, but a targeted healthcare approach could also be a more efficient use of NHS services.
Green, said that 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 and they were all different and different health promotion approaches work for different people.
Researchers suggested messages about alcohol reduction could help tackle obesity in young adults while for middle aged individuals who were unhappy and anxious an intervention involving increasing exercise mixed with psycho-social counselling could be beneficial and young healthy females may not need any intervention.
(The study is published in the Journal of Public Health)