A recent report found that over 60 percent of adults in England are at risk of developing chronic health problems due to their weight.
In 2020, a whopping 67 percent of men and 60 percent of women were either overweight or obese.
That is over 35 million individuals.
Perhaps most worryingly, 20 percent of Year 6 children were classed as obese.
UK-wide NHS costs attributable to overweight and obese individuals are projected to reach £9.7 billion by 2050, according to official government statistics.
Meanwhile, diabetes, type 2 of which is often byproduct of being overweight, already costs the NHS £1.5million per hour.
However, in what doctors are describing as a ‘game changer’, the NHS is about to prescribe a weight-loss jab to tackle the obesity crisis.
What is the NHS obesity jab?
Created by Novo Nordisk, the drug called semaglutide or Wegovywhich was used in a major breakthrough trial.
The study was conducted on almost 2,000 people, with participants losing an average of 15kg, around 2.5 stones, over the 15-month trial.
Meanwhile, individuals on the placebo treatment lost just 2.6kg.
A weekly injection of the appetite suppressant was administered, which works by mimicking a hormone called GLP1, that is released after eating a filling meal.
The injection and placebo were both given along with advice on diet and exercise.
Rachel Batterham, lead researcher for the project and professor of obesity, diabetes and endocrinology at University College London said: “No other drug has come close to producing this level of weight loss – this really is a gamechanger.”
“For the first time, people can achieve through drugs what was only possible through weight-loss surgery.”
How to get obesity jab on NHS
According to reports, the jab will be recommended to those with a body mass index (BMI) of 30 or over if they have been referred for specialist help.
There has also been an extension to the free weight loss plan provided by the NHS.
To qualify for a free weight loss plan on the NHS, you need to meet certain criteria.
Those wanting to access the program, you must have a body max index of 30 or over to be accepted – the same requirement as the new jab.
However, if you are from an Asian, black or ethnic minority background you can join the scheme with a BMI of 27.5. This is due to these groups having an increased likelihood of developing type 2 diabetes.
You can check your body mass index by entering your height and weight into this BMI calculator here provided by the NHS.
The 12-week plan features tailored diets and exercise, specially designed to help you lose weight safely and sustainably.
It also includes access to weight loss apps and some people can get one-on-one support.
You can access the scheme by visiting a participating pharmacy or your GP.