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Time to tackle obesity

Published: 28 May 2014

Aviva's first ever Health Check UK report has highlighted many interesting trends about the physical and mental wellbeing of UK consumers.

For example, just over half (52 per cent) of the UK considers itself to be in good health and over three-quarters (77 per cent) of individuals considered to be in poor health say they are unhappy with their lives.

One trend that was notable from the results - and to which the media has drawn much attention recently - is that, as a nation, far too many people are tipping the scales at an unhealthy weight.

Rather, half of Britons are classified as either overweight or obese according to their body mass index. As a result, more than two-fifths (41 per cent) of the nation is either rarely or never happy with their body shape.

This may be due to a number of factors. The results went on to show how only one-fifth of the population is eating their recommended five-a-day, while one-third is consuming at least one portion of crisps or chocolate every single day, suggesting diet has a huge part to play in the UK population's surplus pounds.

It's not all bad news though, with our research showing that losing weight is the public's biggest health ambition - meaning this is something to be targeted and with which individuals may need a helping hand.

Here at Aviva, we understand that health is an intensely personal part of our lives and that a blanket approach may not be the best way to broach the matter of shedding pounds.

This is where our online health and wellbeing tool, MyHealthCounts, can be an invaluable aid, both for brokers and your clients. The system assesses a member’s health via a questionnaire and formulates a personalised 12-week programme that offers useful hints and tips for the user on how to improve their overall health.

One of our 12-week health programmes focuses on ‘weight loss’, whilst others cover ‘diet’ and ‘physical activity’ - two of the key modulators of weight. The programmes also address potential problems with ‘alcohol’ and ‘smoking’.

By following one of our 12-week programmes, not only can individuals lose weight and become more healthy, but if they improve their fitness/lifestyle, they can get up to a 15% discount on their renewal premiums. For more information, visit our MyHealthCounts page on HealthcareZone.

To look at the full Health Check UK Report, click here. You can watch Dr Doug Wright discuss the key findings from the report in the ‘a nation in denial’ video and ‘sandwich generation’ video.

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