NHS experts tackle rising obesity rate

Medical experts are dealing with a rising number of “super-obese” patients who are placing a huge financial burden on the NHS.

More than 100 people each year are having gastric operations at Mid Yorkshire Hospitals Trust after putting on so much weight that only surgery can help them live.

Medics at the Trust say obese patients often have complex health problems and are at risk of broken bones, and life-limiting health episodes like heart attacks and strokes.

Rising numbers are being diagnosed with type two diabetes.

Nurses, psychologists, surgeons and other specialists met at Pinderfields Hospital for a conference on tackling obesity and obesity-linked diabetes.

Nurse specialist Maxine Rooney explained different types of surgery including adjustable gastric bands and operations to reduce stomach size.

She said: “Overall the surgery is very successful. It is life-changing. People are able to work and come off benefits.”

Dr Chinnadorai Rajeswaran put on a bariatric suit which emulates what it is like to weigh 30 stones.

He said obesity was costing the NHS £5bn a year – but that was set to rise to a staggering £50bn by 2050 based on current trends.

Dr Rajeswaran said: “The obese are going to become the super-obese. It is going to cost the country a lot of money.”

Mid Yorkshire’s Weight Management Team provides a holistic approach to tackling obesity, offering personalised 12-week sessions around Wakefield and Kirklees.

Dr Tolu Shonibare said: “There may be medical reasons for weight gain, so it is about providing appropriate programmes. For example, running or visiting a gym can injure obese patients so we have developed chair and swimming pool activities.”