Start learning!  (0% complete)

quiz close icon

module menu icon Introduction

In 2016 the World Health Organisation (WHO) estimated that more than 1.9 billion people worldwide were overweight and of those 650 million were obese. WHO also stated that “most of the world’s population live in countries where overweight and obesity kills more people than underweight”.

The UK government report released in 2015, identified that in England, 68 in every 100 men were overweight or obese and 58 out of every 100 were overweight or obese. (

The UK has the highest rate of obesity in Western Europe as figures have been rising over the last 30 years and is now called the obesity epidemic. Obesity is now one of the largest risks to health in the UK and is high on the agenda for the Department of Health and NHS.

So why when nutritional information is available on food packaging, drinks, food menus, as well as more readily available information about what we should be eating, for example eat five portions of fruit or vegetables daily, are people still choosing to avoid the signs and the risks of being overweight or obese?

When considering ‘overweight’ or ‘obese’ status, it is worth remembering that prevention is always better than cure. Pharmacy teams should be prepared to advise and educate their customers on how to maintain a healthy weight and the on-going health benefits of doing so. 


The objectives of this module are to enable you to understand:

  • The measurements used to assess if someone is overweight. 
  • Why people gain weight and the risks involved. 
  • The benefits of losing weight and how to maintain a healthy weight. 
  • The types of weight loss strategies that are commonly used.
  • Lifestyle and counselling tips to help your customers.