Behind the scenes of Skinnyo, we let you organise or join challenges that make it a little easier to stay healthy.

Obese Patients Causing Strain on NHS

Posted: February 4th, 2011 | Author: tom | Filed under: News | Tags: , , | No Comments »

Yesterday the BBC revealed that NHS trusts across the UK are spending hundreds of thousands of pounds on new equipment to cope with the influx of morbidly obese patients in recent years.

Freedom of Information requests were collated to produce an overall picture of the increased spending and incredible measures that every trust is undertaking to accommodate patients up to 50 stone.

New Equipment:

  • Bariatric ambulances – Specially-designed vehicle crash-tested to take heavier loads and equipped with full-range of obesity equipment. Cost: £60,000 to £90,000.
  • Wider stretchers – Different makes used. Most popular sits on trolley and extends to twice the normal width. Can take patients up to 50 stone (318kg) compared to 30 stone (191kg) normally. Also used in standard ambulances but cannot be extended to full width. Cost: £7,000 to £10,000.
  • Heavy-duty adjustable stretcher – No wider than standard, but able to take heavier patients and has lifting mechanism so it can be moved up and down to make it easier to get large patients on and off. Cost: £7,000.
  • Lifting cushions – Inflatable cushion which can be used to get people off floor. Cost: £2,500.
  • Heavy-duty wheelchairs – Wider and stronger than standard. Cost: £400-plus.
  • Hoists - Tend to be fitted in bariatric ambulances. Used to lift obese on to stretchers. Can take weights of over 40 stone (254kg). Cost: £4,500.
  • Stronger tail-lifts – Capable of taking weights up to 75 stone (476kg). Cost: £800.

The article features a patient, Eileen Forde who struggles to walk without aid and at 34 stone was unable to use a standard stretcher. She describes having to sit in the floor of an under-equipt ambulance to be transported to hospital and how this experience brought her to tears.

What do you think, could more be done to try and ensure that patients never reach the point where specialist equipment is required? Or should the government leave people to their own devices and increase investment in infrastructure?

Photo Credit: Christopher McGonigall

Websites Help People to Lose Weight

Posted: August 14th, 2010 | Author: hannah | Filed under: Photos | Tags: , , | No Comments »

We knew we were on to something. A study in the Journal of Medical Internet Research has shown that continued and consistent use of weight loss websites help people to lose weight and maintain a lower, healthier weight.

The study followed 348 participants as they used an Internet-based weight maintenance intervention, all of whom were overweight or obese.

The study found that user who logged on and recorded their weight at least once a month managed to maintain the most weight loss.

“Consistency and accountability are essential in any weight maintenance program. The unique part of this intervention was that it was available on the Internet, whenever and wherever people wanted to use it,”

- Study lead author Kristine L. Funk, MS, RD, a researcher at the Kaiser Permanente Center for Health Research in Portland, Ore

You can read more about the study here.

Although Skinnyo is different to the website these people were using we are hoping it will have the same effect. We’re always thinking of ways to make the site a more social environment as it’s the people you’re competing against, and teammates that your competing with who are going to give you the most motivation and push you to lose those pounds.

Babies born to obese mothers shown to have severe health risks

Posted: August 10th, 2010 | Author: hannah | Filed under: Photos | Tags: , , | No Comments »

More and more babies are being born to obese mothers leading to possible severe health risks for the child.

According to NICE, the National Institute for Clinical Excellence, almost half of women at child bearing age in the UK are currently overweight or obese, with one in five women being obese during pregnancy. This has very serious implications for both mother and child.

Mothers often get told “you’re eating for two now”, NICE are quick to point out this is not something to be taken too seriously. Women should maintain their regular calorie intake until the very last stages of pregnancy, where they should be consuming only a further 200 extra calories.

Although obese women can have perfectly healthy babies, the risks are far higher for women with a BMI of 30 or more. The risks for the mother range from gestational diabetes, to miscarriage, pre-eclampsia and even death.

Babies born to obese mothers face a higher risk of congenital abnormalities, and it raises the risk of the baby being stillborn.

NICE recommend following a healthy, balanced diet chocked full of fruits and vegetables and partaking in light exercise as much as possible.

To get more information about weight management before, during and after pregnancy visit the NICE information pages.

Are you eating too much meat?

Posted: July 27th, 2010 | Author: hannah | Filed under: Photos | Tags: , , , , | No Comments »

With barbecue season well and truly upon us, dietician Sian Porter, a member of The Fat Panel, talks about the fats found in our typical processed BBQ burgers and the effects they have on our bodies.

Processed food is a hot topic at the moment

A recent study from Harvard University has linked daily consumption of processed meats to a 42% increase in heart disease risk, plus a 19% rise in your likelihood of developing Type 2 diabetes. This follows other research that found regularly eating foods like bacon, sausages, burgers, salami and ham ups your chances of colon cancer.

What is it in the meat that’s bad for you?

The saturated fat content in ordinary meat can increase levels of unhealthy cholesterol, which is linked to heart disease, but on top of that, all the added salt and preservatives used in processed meat can push up blood pressure, so it’s a double whammy. The cancer risk is believed to be connected to the potentially carcinogenic chemicals produced as the meat is cured.

The bottom line

The heart disease research studied people eating a single serving of processed meat a day, two rashers of bacon or a ham sandwich, for example. You would be well advised to cut down if you’re eating that much.