at risk” as campaign urges “know your BMI”
least 1.7 million UK adults are overweight or obese but don’t know
it – and millions of others can’t work it out. So says a
shocking survey from weight loss experts LighterLife, which is being
used to launch BMI 4 Life Fortnight – a campaign to highlight the
life-and-death importance of Body Mass Index.
BMI is widely used to establish if someone is a healthy weight for
their height. The 18.5 - 24.9 band is seen as healthy, while 25 + is
overweight, and 30 is obese, increasing “killer” risks
including stroke, heart disease and diabetes.
The nationally representative survey, conducted by BMRB, polled more
than 1000 adults, and calculated the BMI of each. The results
showed that 25% of respondents either didn’t know what BMI meant, or
got it wrong. Alarmingly, half of the total had no idea how it
was measured, and 75%, when asked, didn’t recognise that a BMI of 31
would make them obese.
When asked about their own BMI, the results got more personal….
Only 1 in 3 were “confident” they knew their BMI, and 80% of
these thought their BMI was “normal”. However, in reality, 1
in 8 who thought they were normal - representing 1.7 million people
– were, alarmingly, overweight.
Juliette du Plessis, Programme Director at LighterLife urged
everyone to check their BMI – and raise thousands of £s for the
Stroke Association charity. She said:- “People can check their
BMI free, and instantly, at
www.lighterlife.com/bmi4life and for every BMI
calculation made, LighterLife will donate £1 to the Stroke
“Many just don’t realise the significance of BMI. The research
showed that 36% of all respondents thought ‘blood pressure’
was the most important number when it came to health dangers, with ‘BMI’
second at 30%. But a high BMI is actually one of the main
causes of high blood pressure - and losing weight can eliminate
Laura Dart, Deputy Director for The Stroke Association, said:-
“A stroke is a brain attack and it can kill you. If a stroke
doesn’t kill you, it is likely to leave you severely disabled.
obese can increase your risk of stroke by up to a 3rd so it is vital
we all maintain a healthy body weight and a good diet.
Body Mass Index
is one measure of a healthy body weight. Knowing your BMI along with
waist measurements can help to reduce the risk of the UK’s 3rd
biggest killer - stroke. Waist measurements are important as the
more excess weight around the waist puts you at greater risk of
The Stroke Association and LighterLife strongly advise people to
seek advice from their doctor before embarking on any diet to reduce
a champ for kids!
Middleweight Champion and Olympic bronze medallist, Robin Reid, is
teaming up with local foster carers to urge many more local people
Robin, from L8, was himself fostered by heroic carer Lynne Reid, 60,
who has fostered more than 100 Liverpool and Merseyside children
over the past 35 years. She is still in touch with every single one
Robin attended a special event at St John’s Beacon, city centre on
17 May, celebrating Foster Care Fortnight (12-25 May). The event
gave people their chance to speak to local foster carers and hear
all about their experiences, as well as meet the council’s fostering
team and find out everything there is to know about fostering.
The council’s executive director for children’s services, Stuart
Smith, said:- “Foster Care Fortnight gives us a great
opportunity to raise awareness about the need for foster carers in
the city, as well as highlighting and celebrating the important work
they do. I’m delighted Robin Reid is supporting our efforts to find
happy homes for Liverpool children. Whether it's providing a
permanent home, offering short-term care at a difficult time or
helping a child with disabilities and their family take a break,
you'll find you can make an extraordinary difference.
Fostering takes real patience, dedication and stamina to look after
children at what's often a troubled time in their lives – but the
rewards can be fantastic. If you can offer a welcoming home and a
family life to a child who cannot live with their own parents,
you’ll find it won't just be their life you change for the better,
but your own as well.”
There are currently 320 foster carers in Liverpool, but many more
are needed. The council has more than 600 children in foster
placements at any one time, aged from birth to 18 years. Foster
carers are needed for children of all backgrounds in Liverpool, but
there is a particular need for carers for boys aged 5-12, brothers
and sisters and ethnic minority youngsters.
Foster parents in Liverpool are also backing the council’s latest
drive to recruit more carers as part of Foster Care Fortnight. Allan
(60) and Barbara (61) from South Liverpool are full-time foster
carers and have looked after for 20 children over the last 16 years.
In 2004, they took on their biggest challenge yet, when they
provided a home for 3 sisters from Africa. The girls, 18, 14
and 12, arrived in the UK as unaccompanied asylum seekers, and spoke
little English. 4 years on, and they are thriving in their new
Liverpool home and doing extremely well in their social, sporting
and academic lives.
Barbara said:- “The best thing about being a foster carer is
the opportunity to make a difference and see kids blossom. If you
can change the life of even one child, it’s an amazing thing.
It isn’t easy. It’s very hard looking after someone else’s child,
and many of the children have complex needs, but you get plenty of
support – there’s always help on hand. I’ve enjoyed every minute of
being a foster carer, and neither I nor my husband would change what
we do for the world!”