If you’re someone who’s carrying around a lot of extra weight, a new study finding that there are six different “types” of obese people in existence may be of interest. Or it may just be frustrating. The new study found that different clusters of variables defined six different obese “types” – like affluent, healthy older people or younger men who drink a lot.
The idea is that determining what variety of obesity a person is afflicted with might allow doctors to tailor their weight loss recommendations to the individual. Though the findings run the risk of offending some people, understandably, they may at least be a step in the right direction in addressing the obesity crisis, since its ultimate message is that when it comes to weight loss one size does not fit all.
The new study, from the University of Sheffield, looked at the lifestyle habits and other variables of 4,100 people in England who were taking place in the Yorkshire Health Study. All the participants had body mass indices (BMI) of 30 or more, which is considered obese. The majority of the participants were white, but of various socioeconomic classes. From data on their lifestyle habits and backgrounds, the team was able to place the individuals into six main groups. Here they are.
Younger healthy females
The people in this group tended to be the happiest and relatively healthiest among the participants – they reported low insomnia, anxiety, and depression, and a relatively high quality of life. They often engaged in some form of exercise and made attempts to control their weight.
Younger males who are heavy drinkers
This group was similar to the one above in most variables, including well-being, with the exception that they were the heaviest drinkers in the study.
Middle aged individuals who are unhappy and anxious
These individuals tended to have poor mental health, and low quality of life. They also had insomnia, anxiety, depression, pain, and fatigue. They did, however, try to control their weight and engage in exercise; their alcohol consumption was the lowest of all the groups.
Physically sick but happy elderly
This group suffered from chronic health problems – like diabetes, high blood pressure, and arthritis. But they were basically happy, and scored well on measures of well-being and life satisfaction.
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