NHS ‘healthy weight’ calculator wrongly tells fat people they are eating up to 2,000 ‘excess’ calories each week

An NHS ‘healthy weight’ calculator has wrongly advised obese people to eat tonnes of extra energy a day, a scientist claims.

The error meant that people who exercised lightly every week had to eat the same amount as those who exercised almost every day.

If the everyday dieter had adopted the welfare department’s guidance, he could have gained nearly two and a half stone a year.

Obesity expert Dr Stuart Flint first alerted welfare officers in May 2021 to the ‘nonsensical’ calculations made more than two years earlier, but nothing was done.

Until his considerations are printed Lancet magazine in March this year that the NHS had removed the calculator from its website.

The error meant that Britons who exercised quietly every week were informed that they were eating as much as people who exercised practically every day. This meant {that a 5′ 9′ tall man weighing 14 6lb – a few stone over normal – was informed that he was consuming at least 1,817 calories on a non-exercise day (pictured left). But he was advised to eat an extra 819 energy a week (117 extra energy a day) for at least half an hour on the train a week and a couple of 086 extra energy a week (298 a day) for 60 minutes or extra on the train. train per week (pictured)

It was put back online earlier this month and the calorie recommendation was dropped.

The mistakes meant that an obese man trying to shed pounds could possibly be advised to eat practically 300 extra energy per day, while ladies in the identical class were advised to eat as much as 240 extra energy daily.

Those who took the recommendation reportedly consumed as much as 2,086 extra calories per week, which is more than 4 Big Mac burgers.

It is obvious that the web calculator, which is used 22 million times a year, has been giving misleading advice since 2018.

dr. Flint, associate professor of weight psychology at the University of Leeds, said: “People were being told to consume different amounts of calories based on information that was actually wrong… They could be consuming hundreds of calories more per day.”

The NHS BMI (Body Mass Index) ‘healthy weight calculator’ was created as part of efforts to tackle the epidemic of weight problems in Britain.

Two out of three adults in the country are obese or overweight.

BMI is an indicator of whether or not someone has a healthy body weight. A healthy BMI is between 18.5 and 24.9, while anything over 25 is considered obese and over 30 overweight.

The NHS calculator told anyone with a BMI of 25 or more how much energy they needed to eat a day if they wanted to gradually shed pounds, based mainly on how energetic they were.

It required individuals to enter primary information along with their weight, height, gender, ethnicity, and level of physical activity.

People who have thought about being obese or overweight are aware of how much energy they need to eat each day if they want to lose pounds.

Those who have been particularly active have been advised to eat more than those who have led a sedentary lifestyle.

But the calculator overestimated the effect of a very small increase in the train, possibly prompting tens of millions of dieters to eat more energy than they wanted.

The calculator asked individuals to decide on three ranges of exercise: inactive, moderately vigorous, and vigorous.

“Inactive” was reported as 0 to half an hour of physical activity per week, but “moderately active” was misclassified as 30 to 60 minutes of physical activity per week and “active” as 60 to 150 minutes per week.

According to NHS personal advice, only people who exercise for at least 150 minutes each week should be considered ‘active’.

People who ticked the ill-defined “moderately active” or “active” bins have been credited with tons of extra energy per day despite only exercising a little per week.

This meant {that a 5′ 9′ tall man weighing 14 6lb – a few stone over normal – was informed that he was eating at least 1817 calories a day when he was not exercising.

But he was advised to eat an extra 819 energy a week (117 extra energy a day) for at least half an hour on the train a week and a couple of 086 extra energy a week (298 a day) for 60 minutes or extra on the train. sports activities per week.

Indeed, a brisk walk of half an hour would burn only 174 calories for a person of this weight, while a full 60 minutes would burn only 348 calories.

Following the recommendation, the average weight can reach 2 5 kg per year.

Tam Fry, chairman of the National Obesity Forum, said he was “aware” that the NHS had been providing inaccurate information to the tool for years.

“Unfortunately, this will no doubt mean that countless people are heavier than necessary if they follow the calculator’s advice, and it is appalling that the NHS has ignored the need to correct the advice for so long,” he said.

dr. Flint said inaccurate descriptions of what counts as an “asset” have misled tens of millions of people.

“Being told that if you’re in the ‘moderate’ group, you consume more than the ‘inactive group,’ that’s a problem,” he added. “You’re told, ‘You can still eat 100 to 200 calories a day,’ which you shouldn’t because you’re still inactive.

A person who contacted Dr. Flint, after his letter was examined in the Lancet, said: “I followed the NHS BMI calculator guidelines for calorie intake, but I continued to put on weight.”

After doing his own calorie calculations, the dieter was able to reduce his BMI from 37.0 to 27.4.

Professor Barbara McGowan, co-chair of the European Association for the Study of Obesity (EASO) Working Group on Obesity Management, said consuming 200 extra calories a day could add up to 1kg (about 2lb) a month. or 1. 12 kg per year.

“Once a problem (with advice) is recognized, it seems sensible to use it as quickly as possible,” she added.

The calculator, which was taken down in March, was brought back online earlier this month, with the controversial sections on train and daily calorie recommendations removed.

The NHS offer stated that the calorie ranges were assigned to a spectrum of exercise, meaning identical figures for those who got 60-150 minutes of train per week.

A spokesman said all recommendations had been “evidence-based”.

They added: “In line with NICE guidelines, the BMI calculator no longer provides advice on calories, so other factors such as lifestyle are taken into account when giving weight management advice.”

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