LighterLife has revealed that British women are the most overweight in Europe and British men tip the scales as the third fattest, according to the average European body mass index (BMI).
In the lead up to BMI 4 Life, a campaign highlighting the life-and-death importance of BMI, an alarming survey published in the newsletter of the French National Institute of Demographic studies has shown that British women on average have a BMI of 26.2, which is considered overweight.
French women have a BMI of 23.2, the lowest in the EU, but tend to worry more about being fat than those in any other EU country. Typically, British woman are overweight but convinced they are slim, highlighting the fact that many people don't know what BMI means and have no idea how it is measured.
Unsurprisingly, the survey suggests that men across the EU are less concerned about their weight than women, although out of the 15 member countries only French and Dutch men fall within the ideal weight range, with the rest being overweight.
The BMI 4 Life campaign, which is being championed by weight-management experts LighterLife, aims to highlight the very real dangers associated with excessive weight gain and the importance of reaching and maintaining a healthy BMI.
LighterLife is once again teaming up with The Stroke Association and is encouraging members of the public to get involved and show they care by visiting and posting a message on the LighterLife website, taking a quiz and passing it onto their friends to help LighterLife increase awareness and raise money for The Stroke Association.
Sara Jamison, CEO at LighterLife said: "We are excited about supporting The Stroke Association and are encouraging everyone to post their messages of support, take the quiz, learn more about the risks associated with stroke and pass the message onto their friends to raise thousands of pounds for this very worthwhile charity."
Sara added: "More people than you realise are at risk of having a stroke and being overweight can increase this risk. Carrying extra weight around the waist is particularly dangerous as it increases the risk of stroke, heart disease and some cancers threefold."
Andrea Lane, Media Manager for The Stroke Association, said: "Many people don't realise that a stroke is a brain attack that happens when the blood supply to the brain is cut off and brain cells die. As the brain controls everything we do, think and feel the damage can be devastating. Being obese can increase your risk of stroke by over 30 per cent so it is vital we all maintain a healthy body weight and a good diet."
LighterLife is a weight loss and weight-management programme for people who are one stone or more overweight and with a body mass index (BMI) of 25 or above. LighterLife has successfully helped over 100,000 people lose weight fast since 1996.
LighterLife offers programmes specific to the obese and the overweight, showing them how to lose weight with the use of weight loss aids including an online BMI calculator, nutritionally complete soups, shakes and bars combined with specialised counselling using cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT) and transactional analysis (TA) techniques.
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