chilhood obesity
In Photo: Children and teens take off from the starting line for the annual run/walk for patients and their friends and families. Reuters/ Rick Wilking

A recent study has identified the existing six categories of obese people. The researchers at the University of Sheffield used by a population-based survey to list the six “types” of obese people.

The survey used questions related to the health, lifestyle, behaviour and demographics of the people. The ultimate aim of the researchers was to differentiate the categories of obese people so that physicians can tailor out weight loss programs for better management of each category.

"People with obesity can be very different, with important nuances, and we need to think about the complexities of managing the condition and how we can drive this forward into policy change," said lead researcher Dr Mark Green, reported Medscape Medical News.

The researchers conducted their study on 4,100 people in England who had a Body Mass Index (BMI) of 30 or more. Individuals with a BMI exceeding 30 are considered as obese. With the help of the survey questions, the researchers tried to look into the lifestyle habits of the individuals, who were mostly white, however, belonged to different socioeconomic classes, reported The Forbes.

The study results helped the researchers place people in six distinct categories—younger healthy females, younger males who are heavy drinkers, middle aged individuals who are unhappy and anxious, physically sick but happy elderly, older affluent healthy adults and people with very poor health. Each category had its own set of different factors and problems associated with them.

"With these six subgroups in mind, we need to stop treating everyone the same and start rethinking strategies for management and health promotion to take these groups into account and consider that some people might respond very differently," said Green, reported Medscape Medical News.

However, the study does not rule out the possibility of existence of other types of obese people. In addition, the study does not prove that the subject population became obese because of the factors listed under each subgroup type.

The study has been published online in the Journal of Public Health.

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