Shocking figures revealed by the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) declare that the UK is one of the most obese nations in the world, with around 27% of the population considered clinically obese.
There are various Government backed campaigns and measures to combat the UK’s growing obesity problem, including a new sugar tax on fizzy drinks, whereby soft drinks manufacturers will be taxed on the amount of sugar in their drinks.
NHS chief executive Simon Stevens, who says “obesity is the new smoking“, has declared that the NHS is now “stepping up action to combat the ‘super-size’ snack culture which is causing an epidemic of obesity, preventable diabetes, tooth decay, heart disease and cancer.”
However, we also need to address the current day-to-day problems obese people face. Lack of facilities, amenities and weight bearing equipment means that this growing population is subjected to a poorer quality of life and ostracisation from a society built for ‘normal weight’ people.
Here’s a look at just some of the most common everyday struggles for people living with obesity.
It’s a vicious cycle: the more you weigh, the more restricted your movements, and therefore the higher your weight gain. Extra weight also contributes to joint and back problems which in turn, restrict movement. Obese people also suffer from loss of muscle mass which makes them weaker.
Lack of mobility causes difficulty in managing the most basic at home activities such as climbing the stairs, cleaning the house, and bathing. As obese people grow older further mobility issues arise, and most end up wheelchair bound.
Trips to the supermarket, clothes shopping, are things we do every day without even thinking about it. Obese people live daily with the practical and psychological struggles of shopping; from finding the right size clothes to feeling ‘judged’ when shopping for groceries. Inevitably many obese people become housebound, which in itself can lead to depression.
Travelling can pose a serious problem for obese people. Many find it impossible to drive a car, use public transport, not to mention boarding a plane.
Obese people are far more prone to tooth decay and other oral health problems than those of normal weight. It’s essential therefore, that they can attend appointments and receive necessary dental treatment.
Yet many patients avoid dental appointments either because they are embarrassed to go, or their dental practice only has conventional dental chairs with a restricted weight allowance and width. The result is that many obese patients can’t fit into the chair, and therefore can’t be treated.
Design Specific’s Bariatric dental chair has a far greater weight tolerance and larger capacity that can specifically accommodate obese, disabled and bariatric patients to enhance the treatment, support and comfort for both patient and dental practitioners.
Obesity is a serious problem that needs to be addressed, but in today’s world made for ‘normal sized’ people, steps also need to be taken to help obese people improve their quality of life by providing ways for them to participate as members of society.
For more information and advice on our bariatric dental chairs, contact us today or visit us online.