Obesity is a term used to describe somebody who is very overweight with a high degree of body fat. There are a number of ways a person’s weight can be assessed. The most widely used method is the body mass index.

The body mass index (BMI) is your weight in kilograms divided by your height in metres squared. If your BMI is between 25 and 29, you would be considered overweight, between 30 and 40, you would be considered obese and over 40, you would be considered very obese (known as ‘morbidly obese’).

The risks of obesity

Being obese increases your risk of developing a number of serious and potentially life-threatening diseases such as Type 2 Diabetes, Heart Disease and some types of Cancer. In addition, obesity can damage your quality of life and can often trigger depression.


The cause of most cases of obesity is the person eats more calories than they burn off and the unused calories are turned into fat. Modern lifestyle does not help as there is easy access to cheap, high energy food that is often aggressively marketed to people and people’s lifestyles and jobs are much less active than in the past with many leisure activities such as watching television, playing video games and browsing the internet are usually done sitting down. People increasingly drive and as a result walk less.

Who is affected

A survey published in 2012 found that just over a quarter of all adults (26%) in England are obese. Obesity is also an increasing problem in children, with around 1 out of 7 children being classified as obese.


There is no ‘magic wand’ treatment for obesity. CBT programmes take commitment and can be challenging, but at Cork Cognitive Therapy we have found that when clients engage in proper preparation they are must more successful. Research looking at obese people who completed a CBT programme found they lost around 5 -10% of their body weight. While this may not sound like a great amount, it is important to stress that even a modest reduction in weight brings important health benefits. Losing this amount will significantly reduce your risk of type 2 diabetes and heart disease.

However, losing the weight is only part of the problem in that you must not put it back on! You most likely will revert to your old habits unless a sustainable change is made. That change can only happen if you change your thinking and behaviour around your relationship with food and CBT as practiced by Cork Cognitive Therapy is the perfect medium to achieve this. The CBT programme that Cork Cognitive Therapy offers for Obesity contains built in relapse prevention because we know from research that this is the most area aspect of the treatment of obesity.