In the news: obesity and TV

As part of a new set of guidelines to be released by the National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence (NICE), the recommendation to have days without spending time in front of the TV is being put forward to help tackle the growing obesity problem in England.

According to the Guardian's coverage of the story, spending long periods of time in front of the television can have a big impact on how active we are, especially as there is a tendency for some people to snack while watching it. As the report states, 62% of the current population are considered either overweight or obese, therefore the new guidelines to be released by NICE are aimed at helping people to maintain their weight-loss, as well as lose weight in the first instance.

A report from the BBC outlines how as an alternative to having a TV-free day, the time spent in front of the television each day should be limited to no more than two hours as a way to maintain an active lifestyle. It is also explained that over the past ten years, the levels of obesity in England have almost doubled.

Advice from NHS Choices explains how most adults would be considered obese if their body mass index is between 30 and 39.9. However, its advice goes on to explain how body mass index is not a definitive diagnosis of obesity, as having a lot of muscle can sometimes result in a high number. It further emphasises how the circumference of the waist can be a better indicator of excess fat levels.

Despite its perceived inconsistency in determining someone's health, you can visit the NHS Choices website to use its online body mass index calculator.

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