Obesity is not a black and white issue. There are many underlying causes of obesity, and many different ways to treat it. Some methods work for some and not for others.
Now, researchers know why. A recent Yorkshire Health Study took a look at a group of 4,000 obese adults and was able to place them into six distinct groups.
- Young healthy females – women who were obese, but generally had fewer obesity-related complications, such as type 2 diabetes
- Heavy-drinking males – as above, but with higher alcohol intake
- Unhappy and anxious middle-aged – predominantly women with poor mental health and wellbeing
- Affluent and healthy elderly – generally positive health, but defining characteristics of higher alcohol intake and high blood pressure
- Physically sick but happy elderly – older people with more chronic diseases, such as osteoarthritis, but good mental health
- Poorest health – people who were the most economically deprived and had the greatest number of chronic diseases