Two thirds of us think we're overweight

May 30, 2014, 5:18 PM GMT+0

Two in three British people think they are above their ideal body weight – and many feel there are an alarmingly high number of obese people in the UK

The National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) called on the NHS this week to offer slimming classes to overweight people. They say modest targets of 3% in weight reduction could cut blood pressure and reduce the risk of type-2 diabetes, and overcome a psychological barrier where larger targets cause people to be disheartened and give up.

A new YouGov survey finds that most people in Britain are dissatisfied with their body weight.

Two thirds (65%) say they are above their ideal body weight, while just 27% say they at their ideal weight. The figure hardly varies across demographics. 67% of women feel dissatisfied, but so do 61% of men. And although the figure is lower in London, still 54% feel above their ideal weight there compared to 67% of people in the North.

Obesity is defined as having a body mass index (BMI) of 30 or more, and it costs the NHS £5.1bn every year. It affects around one in four people in the UK, however on average British people estimate that 43% are obese.

A study released this week found that there are more young women who are overweight in the UK than there are in any other country in Western Europe. 8% of women aged under 20 in the UK are obese while 29% are overweight (have a BMI of over 25), the study found. Men aged under 20 fared slightly better, with 26% being overweight or obese, however among all age groups more men (67%) were found to be overweight or obese than women (57%).

Image: Getty

See the full poll results