Self-esteem issues among young on the increase

The UK government is being urged to recognize the seriousness of body image fears, before young people suffered a long-term impact caused by depression, anxiety and eating issues, with one expert saying it was now normal for young people ‘to be unhappy with the way their bodies look’.

The Youth Select Committee (YSC), a British Youth Council initiative supported by the House of Commons, with 11 members aged 13-18, says body dissatisfaction can start as young as six in its report into the issue, A Body Confident Future.

Dr Phillippa Diedrichs, associate professor at the Centre for Appearance Research, University of the West of England, added that body dissatisfaction was the biggest known risk factor for eating disorders such as bulimia.

She told the BBC: “It is a really important mental health issue, and I don’t think it is taken seriously enough.”

The YSC heard from expert witnesses, including bloggers, social-media companies, teachers and mental-health professionals, on the subject and its report, is being sent to the government for an official response.

Among other things, it askes Parliament to: address current knowledge gaps, especially about body image in pre-adolescents; develop resources for groups other than women, who are targeted in most current campaigns; appoint a Government Equalities Office minister and for major brands to increase uptake of its Body Image Pledge.

“Body dissatisfaction must be recognised as a serious issue which potentially affects every young person. This report is only the first step; far more needs to be done by society at large to tackle this issue,” the YSC said.

The rising use of social media is also blamed for causing young people to worry about their body image while there are concerns that most campaigns are targeted at women, overlooking other groups such as young men, LGBT youth, ethnic minorities, and those with disabilities or serious illnesses.
The report found that body image worries could affect very young children.

Overcoming self-esteem issues and building self-confidence can be easily done with clinical hypnotherapy and the National Council for Hypnotherapy (NCH,) with almost 1,800 fully trained therapists across the UK, is there to help.

The NCH say clinical hypnotherapy can be used to help treat a wide range of issues such as fears and phobias, anxiety and stress, panic attacks, insomnia and lack of confidence along with weight management issues, stress and anxiety.

When seeing a hypnotherapist, they will assess your concern, identify its root – whether it is a situation, a physical issue, a past experience or a relationship. Then they will set you a goal asking how you wish to feel, how you would like to be, and things that you would chose to do in your life.

They will then work with you to reach your goals using a range of different techniques. Every therapist may use slightly different techniques, but working towards the same goal.

After sessions with the therapist you may feel more confident; more relaxed in situations that have previously challenged you. Many say that they are calmer and have more clarity of thought – able to make decisions more easily,” says the NCH. “Hypnotherapy unlocks the potential you have to break free of negative thought patterns, and to react more positively and more confidently to situations in your life that may have previously were a concern.”

Obesity rise is cause for concern

The news is that Britain is the now the most obese nation in Western Europe, with rates rising faster than any other developed nation and Britain is now sixth heaviest – ‘considerably worse’ than the rest of the 35-member club of wealthy nations.

The Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) says the UK’s comparatively high adolescent drunkenness rate is also a key concern. Although smoking rates are down, harmful alcohol consumption among adolescents continues to be a problem and the OECD found that 30.5% of 15-year-olds admit to having been drunk at least twice in their life.

The BBC reports that the overall health and life expectancy of Britons remained average – aided by a reduction in smoking and adult drinking – despite a noted shortage in hospital beds and staff. British obesity rates have grown to 27% of people with a body mass index (BMI) above 30. The OECD average is 19%. Overweight people have a BMI between 25 and 30.

Worryingly, the OECD lists the UK as one of five countries suffering from ‘historically high’ rates of obesity since the 1990s – increasing by 92%, compared to 65% in the United States.

The BBC quoted the report as saying: “Obesity means higher risk of chronic illnesses, particularly hypertension, cholesterol, diabetes, cardiovascular diseases.”

The OECD recognised campaigns to fight obesity, such as the decision by hospitals in England to disallow ‘super-size’ chocolate bars at hospital retail outlets and the upcoming sugar tax, but added that ‘more could be done’.

Controlling your weight is not easy in today’s hectic and stressful society where grabbing a quick snack is often the norm, but managing weight loss is one of the success stories of clinical hypnotherapy which has proven to be more successful than many diet plans.

The UK’s largest professional organisation for hypnotherapists, the National Council for Hypnotherapy (NCH), says controlling weight loss is one of the most effective results of hypnotherapy.

The NCH says, hypnosis helps people get in touch with why they unconsciously eat, rather than just reducing calories which they are likely to put on again in the longer term, hypnosis gets you in touch with the reasons why you unconsciously eat.

“If you are the type of person that struggles to stop after a small piece of chocolate and feels compelled to finish the packet then a hypnotherapist can help you understand why and help you create new healthy self-management techniques,” says the NCH.

Crucially, as well as stopping compulsive eating, hypnosis can increase motivation for exercise, adds the NCH.

“It can also help you reduce portion sizes, so you lose weight healthily, steadily and for the long term. Losing weight with hypnosis is essentially about teaching you to feel good about yourself, whatever size you are. It focuses on making healthy changes to your diet and lifestyle that will remain with you for the rest of your life.”

While the OECD reports says Britain is doing better at tackling child obesity with figures showing it is stable at 24% – remaining below average over the past decade, at a time when it is increasing rapidly across the rest of Europe – hypnotherapy can work with younger people too.

And, given that the report says alcohol consumption among teenagers is a cause for concern, hypnotherapy can help break addictions, too. If you need help with weight control or addictions, contact an NCH therapist near you by clicking here.

Childbirth concerns rise in the UK

With mothers being older and obesity levels rising, a record level of caesarean births is being recorded in the UK and there are fears that older women and those who are overweight are at higher risk of complications such as high blood pressure, diabetes and pre-eclampsia and of suffering stillbirth.

A report in the Telegraph quoted new figures from NHS Digital which show that 27.8% of births in 2016/17 involved caesarean intervention, the highest recorded, and an 1% rise in five years. Doctors said the figures reflected increasing complex cases, due to rising maternal age, and higher levels of obesity, which increase childbirth risks.

The report shows that overall, just 55.1% of women had a spontaneous labour – a fall from 68.7% a decade earlier. The remainder had caesareans or had their births induced, amid rising levels of complex cases.

The proportion of over 40s mothers has tripled in three decades and older women and those who are overweight are at higher risk of complications such as high blood pressure, diabetes and pre-eclampsia and of suffering stillbirth.

The National Council for Hypnotherapy, the UK’s largest professional organisation for clinical hypnotherapy with more than 1,800 therapists across the country, can help ease childbirth worries and help people manage their weight effectively.

Today, hypnosis is increasingly used to aid fertility and ease birth. In the UK, this is often referred to as ‘hypnobirthing’ and, says the NCH: “It can help overcome fear and anxiety around conception, parenting or birth itself. It can reduce stress and anxiety (not just for you, but also for your baby), boost your confidence to be a parent and give mothers a feeling of control so the birth experience is the best it can be”.

The NCH adds that babies born to mums who have practiced hypnosis and deep relaxation techniques during labour may also be calmer, sleep better and feed better. There are now also several midwives in the UK training as hypnotherapists, having seen the profound difference hypnotherapy in mothers who are birthing their babies calmly and feeling wonderfully in control.

“Hypnosis works at a subconscious level, changing instinctive perceptions of birth so that it is seen as a positive experience, enabling birthing mothers to trust their body. It also makes mothers aware of how they can be in control and manage their environment, keeping it free of threats,” says the NCH.

Hypnosis, says the NCH, is one of the most relaxing, enjoyable and safe therapies to use during pregnancy and birth. Many mothers who have used it during pregnancy and birth say they sleep much better and are much calmer during pregnancy. Sessions will probably last between four and 12 sessions depending on which programme you choose or the hypnotherapist.

Referring to obesity and weight management, the NCH says managing weight loss is one of the most effective results of hypnotherapy.

“Rather than just reducing calories that you are likely to put on again in the longer term, hypnosis gets you in touch with the reasons why you unconsciously eat,” the NCH says. “It can also help you reduce portion size so you lose weight healthily, steadily and for the long term.”

Edward Morris, from the Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists, said: “These figures reflect the increasing number of complex births due to rising maternal age and obesity, together with more women with pre-existing medical conditions having babies.

“Together these factors increase the risk of miscarriage, stillbirth and a more complicated labour, resulting in medical interventions such as the need for planned or emergency caesarean sections, instrumental vaginal deliveries and induced labours.”

To contact an NCH therapist near you, click here to access the directory of highly-trained and qualified therapists.

Sleep is important to mental and physical health

Cutting back on sleep, it seems, is bad for us and, as the average Briton only gets six hours and 30 minutes sleep a night, we are chronically sleep-deprived. Lots of studies have shown that cutting back on sleep, deliberately or otherwise, can have a serious impact on our bodies.

A few nights of bad sleep can upset blood sugar control, leading to over eating and can even affect DNA and a study for a BBC programme a few years ago showed that getting an hour’s less sleep a night affected the activity of a wide range of the volunteers’ genes, including some which are associated with inflammation and diabetes.

A more recent study, to examine the effect of sleep deprivation on mental health, showed shorter sleeping patterns led to increases in anxiety, depression and stress as well as increases in paranoia and feelings of mistrust.

A study conducted for Trust Me I’m A Doctor by the University of Oxford took volunteers who sleep soundly and let them get undisturbed eight-hour sleep nights for four nights before restricting them to just four hours’ sleep for the next three nights.

Sarah Reeve, a doctoral student who ran the experiment, was surprised by how quickly their mood changed.

There were increases in anxiety, depression and stress, also increases in paranoia and feelings of mistrust about other people,” she said. “Given that this happened after only three nights of sleep deprivation, that is pretty impressive.”

Daniel Freeman, professor of clinical psychology at Oxford University who led another sleep study, thinks one of the reasons why sleep deprivation is so bad for our brains is because it encourages repetitive negative thinking.

“We have more negative thoughts when we’re sleep-deprived and we get stuck in them,” he told the BBC.

Referring to the likeliness of mental illness, he said: “It’s certainly not inevitable. In any one night, one in three people is having difficulty sleeping, perhaps 5% to 10% of the general population has insomnia, and many people get on with their lives and they cope with it. But it does raise the risk of a whole range of mental health difficulties.”

Clinical hypnotherapy can help ease stress, anxiety and even insomnia and the National Council for Hypnotherapy, the UK’s largest not-for-profit professional organisation for hypnotherapy, has almost 1,800 fully qualified therapists across the UK who can help people get a good night’s sleep.

Referring to stress and anxiety, the NCH says insomnia is one of the common physical signs, along with a racing heartbeat, a dry mouth, nausea, sweating and panic attacks while common psychological signs can include inner tension, a fear of losing control, an irrational dread that something catastrophic is going to happen and phobias and fears.

“After sessions with a hypnotherapist you may feel more confident; more relaxed in situations that have previously challenged you,” says the NCH. “Many people say that they are calmer and that they have more clarity of thought – able to make decisions more easily.

People who have experienced side effects of anxiety such as insomnia, find that they are sleeping much better and as a result are able to work more effectively. It is as if hypnotherapy unlocks the potential you have to break free of negative thought patterns, and to react more positively and more confidently to situations in your life that may have previously made you anxious.”

With insomnia, the NCH says insomniacs generally respond very well to hypnosis.

“A hypnotherapist can create a programme of personalised treatment that identifies your sleeping patterns and teaches you self-management techniques which make a big difference not just to how long you sleep but the quality of sleep you enjoy. Research shows that hypnosis combined with cognitive behavioral therapy is the most effective treatment for insomnia.”

If you are having trouble sleeping, contact an NCH therapist near you by clicking here and start looking forward to a better and healthier life.

Daydreaming can be good for you

The part of the brain associated with daydreaming also allows us to perform tasks on autopilot, a Cambridge University study has found, and there is hope these findings can help people with mental illnesses.

A collection of brain regions known as the ‘default mode network’ (DMN) is active when people are daydreaming or thinking about the past or future, the BBC reported, and lead author Deniz Vatansever says the DMN allows people to predict what is going to happen and reduce the need to think.

“It is essentially like an autopilot that helps us make fast decisions when we know what the rules of the environment are. So, for example, when you’re driving to work in the morning along a familiar route, the default mode network will be active, enabling us to perform our task without having to invest lots of time and energy into every decision,” he said.

He added that when the environment changes, and no longer conforms to our expectations, our brain enters a ‘manual mode’ that overrides the automatic system, or DMN activity.

The BBC said that previous research has found the DMN is more active during states of rest, and that it can behave abnormally in conditions such as Alzheimer’s disease, schizophrenia and attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD).The researchers hope their findings will help those with mental health disorders – such as addiction, depression and obsessive-compulsive disorders who can have automatic thought patterns that drive repeated, unpleasant behaviours.

The National Council for Hypnotherapy says clinical hypnotherapy uses hypnosis as it is a natural state of mind and an important part of everyday life.

Whenever our mind wanders, daydreams or is focused on something, such as reading a book, driving a familiar route, watching a film we are in a state of hypnosis,” says the NCH. During a hypnosis session, an NCH therapist will use a range of different techniques to relax you, make you feel comfortable and work with you towards achieving your goal.

After a session you may feel uplifted, lighter and very relaxed. Often change is very subtle, as your hypnotherapist will be working with your subconscious mind, and you may just notice a very positive shift in how you are feeling.”

The NCH adds that the person being treated is always in control and the session with the therapist is usually relaxing.

“It’s a lot like drifting off to sleep at night – that stage when you are not quite awake and not quite asleep – you may feel a sense of weightlessness or you may feel heaviness as all your muscles relax. Everyone experiences it differently, and your therapist will be able to reassure you and help you relax and enjoy the experience. Most people are surprised at just how relaxing it is.”

By working with the subconscious mind, hypnotherapy can help with a large range of issues from anxiety and bad habits to phobias, weight management, addictions and low self-esteem and from sexual problems to childbirth.

If you think hypnotherapy can help you, contact an NCH therapist near you by using the NCH directory. It can be a life-changing experience.

Coping with the cost of stress and mental health issues at work

A recently published report shows that up to 300,000 people with long-term mental health problems leave their jobs each year in the UK and adds that poor mental health costs the UK economy up to £99bn each year.

Prime Minister Theresa May, who commissioned the report, said it showed ‘we need to take action’ adding that she is asking NHS England and the civil service – which together employ more than two million people – to implement the recommendations.

The Thriving at Work report, co-authored by Paul Farmer, chief executive of mental health charity Mind, makes 40 recommendations about how employers and the government can better support employees to remain at work, such as through creating an online well-being portal and using digital technology to support workers in the gig economy.

Mr Farmer told the BBC: “Opportunities are missed to prevent poor mental health and ensure that employees who may be struggling get the support they need. In many instances employers simply don’t understand the crucial role they can play, or know where to go for advice and support.”

The report says employers should, among other things, create a mental health at work plan; build mental health awareness by making information and support accessible and provide good working conditions and ensure employees have a healthy work-life balance as well as routinely monitor employee mental health.

Supporting the call for better mental health care, the National Council for Hypnotherapy says: “We live in a society where great demands and responsibilities are placed on us. Today, about one in seven people are suffering from stress or anxiety at any one time in the UK. And while some people manage, more and more people are showing signs of over-anxiety, which leads to stress, which can make a significant impact on the quality of life and well-being.”

The national body, with more than 1,800 therapists across the UK, says clinical hypnotherapy is the application of hypnotic techniques in such a way as to bring about therapeutic changes with the therapists – as the external influence – assisting in activating the inner resources of a person to achieve realistic goals.

The NCH adds that mental health issues, being as common as they are, need not be a stigma and talking about concerns like stress, anxiety and such matters can go a long way towards alleviating the UK’s problem.

Hypnotherapy unlocks the potential you have to break free of negative thought patterns, and to react more positively and more confidently to situations in your life that may have previously made you anxious,” says the NCH.

Mrs May said: “It is only by making this an everyday concern for everyone that we change the way we see mental illness, so that striving to improve your mental health – whether at work or at home – is just as positive as improving our physical well-being.”

Many NCH hypnotherapists offer special offers to businesses for stress reduction schemes at work and advises people whom are stressed to talk to their employer or to a local hypnotherapist to see if that this is a possibility.

Stress is one of the major reasons people take time off work, and investing in stress reduction schemes companies can increase productivity, happiness and subsequently loyalty in their employees,” the NCH says.

The NCH adds that anxiety, which can lead to severe mental health issues like depression, is often rooted in a previous experience that triggered fear or in a general anxiety and worry about the situation at home or at work. There can also be anxiety without knowing what is causing it, a general feeling of anxiety known as ‘free floating’ anxiety.

“So why is it important to reduce anxiety in your life? What difference will it make to you? Research shows that prolonged exposure to cortisol and other stress related hormones can cause memory problems, a weakened immune system, weaker bones, increased blood pressure and even reduce fertility,” concludes the NCH.

End self-harming, stress and anxiety with hypnotherapy

There has been a steep rise in reports of self-harm among girls aged 13 to 16, according to a study of data from GP practices across the UK and the NSPCC charity said the figures were ‘heart-breaking’, adding that it had held more than 15,000 counselling sessions about self-harm last year.

The BMJ study, which looked at figures from 2011-2014, said GPs could be getting better at picking up self-harm but it was likely that rising stress and psychological problems in young people were also behind the trend.
Self-harm is seen as the biggest risk factor for subsequent suicide, which is now the second most common cause of death in the under-25s worldwide.

The NSPCC said giving children support early could be a matter of life or death, the BBC reported. Since 2001, girls have had much higher rates of self-harm than boys – 37.4 per 10,000 compared with 12.3 in boys.

Says the NSPCC: “Self-harm can often be an expression of a deeper problem, which is why early intervention services to support these children are vital. Without this, the consequences really can be a matter of life or death.”

The study’s researchers, from the University of Manchester, looked at data for nearly 17,000 patients from more than 600 GP practices.

Tom Madders, director of campaigns at YoungMinds, said school stress, body-image issues, the pressure created by social media and difficult experiences in childhood could all have an impact on the mental health of teenage girls.

The National Council for Hypnotherapy, the UK’s largest professional organisation for clinical hypnotherapy with more than 1,800 qualified therapists on its books, is well-placed to help young people deal with problems like low self-esteem, depression, anxiety and weight change which, says the NSPCC, are signs of possible self-harming.

Says the NCH: “We live in a society where great demands and responsibilities are placed on us. Today, about one in seven people are suffering from stress or anxiety at any one time in the UK. And while some people manage, more and more people are showing signs of over-anxiety, which leads to stress, which can make a significant impact on the quality of life and wellbeing.”

Nav Kapur, study author and professor of psychiatry and population health at the University of Manchester, said parents and young people should not be unduly alarmed by the findings.

“We know that for many young people things get better and they no longer hurt themselves as adults. But of course we must take self-harm seriously; it’s important to understand its underlying causes.”

Talking about issues like low self-esteem and anxiety can make the problem seem less and, adds the NCH, if the self-harmer is ready to explore ways of freeing themselves and living a fulfilled and happy life, sessions with a hypnotherapist can change things.

After sessions with a hypnotherapist you may feel more confident; more relaxed in situations that have previously challenged you,” says the NCH. “Hypnotherapy unlocks the potential you have to break free of negative thought patterns, and to react more positively and more confidently to situations in your life that may have previously made you anxious.”

The NSPCC says self-harm is not always a suicide indication or attempt or a cry for attention. It is often a way for young people to release overwhelming emotions. It is a way of coping but it should be taken seriously.

If you are self-harming or know someone who is, contact an NCH hypnotherapist near you by clicking here.

Childline’s suicide help calls up 15% in a year

A total of 22,456 sessions were given to children in the UK thinking about taking their own life – up from 19,481 the year before, the charity Childline reported, but the helpline says it can answer only three out of every four calls and urgently needs more volunteers.

Childline founder and president Dame Esther Rantzen told the BBC it was vital to find out why so many young people are feeling so desperate.

“When Childline launched over 30 years ago, I remember children usually felt suicidal because they were being hurt by someone. Now young people tell us they are overwhelmed by mental health issues taking them to the brink of suicide. We must discover why so many of our young people feel so isolated they turn to Childline, because they believe no one else cares about them.”

The BBC said Childline’s statistics for the past year showed that 72% of the calls handled were from girls and 13,456 sessions were about anxiety issues. Figures showed that more than 2,000 contacts were with young people who had already taken steps to end their lives, such as writing a note, giving meaningful items away or even planning their death.

The BBC quoted a former Childline caller who said “To get to my school I had to cross a railway bridge and I would just stand there and think ‘I could just jump off’. It felt overwhelming and like I was alone. I just felt so, so low, I couldn’t see a way out.”

The girl, now 18, said she was self-harming when she was 11 and first thought about taking her own life when she was 13.

“I didn’t want to tell my parents because I thought they would be worried and disappointed or not understand.”
She said it was essential to speak to someone about your feelings and problems, adding that ‘talking to someone who’s not in the problem, who you know is not going to judge you or worry – because my main problem was ‘I don’t want my parents to worry, there’s so much stress’ – and just knowing that you’re not alone and that it’s not your fault’ was helpful.

The National Council for Hypnotherapy has than 1,800 qualified therapists across the UK who will listen and treat people who see them about anxiety-related issues and the national body adds the can ‘assess your anxiety, identifying the root of stress or anxiety whether it is a situation, a physical issue, a past experience or a relationship’.

After sessions with a hypnotherapist you may feel more confident; more relaxed in situations that have previously challenged you. Many people say that they are calmer and that they have more clarity of thought – able to make decisions more easily.

“People who have experienced side effects of anxiety such as insomnia, find that they are sleeping much better and as a result are able to work more effectively.”

Helping with mental health issues like stress, anxiety, lack of confidence or self-esteem is something which clinical hypnotherapy can do effectively and the need for help seems stronger now than before.

New data from the NSPCC shows one in six Childline counselling sessions is now about serious mental health issues. Those aged 12 to 15 made up a third of sessions, with girls almost seven times more likely to seek help than boys.

For clinical hypnotherapy help, contact a therapist from the NCH near you by clicking here to access their directory.

Hypnotherapy can help in Stoptober campaign

Breaking addictions and beating unwanted habits like smoking is not easy on your own which is why an event like ‘Stoptober’ is good as there is support out there to help smokers overcome their nicotine addiction and end that nasty habit.

The National Council for Hypnotherapy (NCH) supports campaigns like Stoptober and its clinical hypnotherapists across the UK are experienced in helping people stop smoking – one of hypnotherapy’s better success stories.

Stoptober 2017 is to support the use of e-cigarettes for the first time, despite warnings from health experts and new television adverts launched by Public Health England (PHE) encourage smokers to use e-cigarettes, also known as vapes, to overcome their addiction, the Evening Standard reports.

Speaking for the NCH, Richard Lepper said: “While the NCH supports anyone who finds a way to stop smoking, it seems as if swapping one device for another does not address the long-term health implications. Hypnosis from a trained and qualified practitioner with experience and success in this field would address both the desire to stop smoking (cigarettes and vapes) and provide a solution that meets the needs of the individual.”

The National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) issued guidance expressing caution about the risks and benefits of vaping. Nice said: “The draft guideline does not list e-cigarettes as recommended aids to stop smoking however it does say that advice should be offered on their use.” Nice advised that patients should be told that ‘there is currently little evidence on their long term benefits or harms’.

According to the NHS, 1.5 million people have taken part in Stoptober since it launched in 2011, many of them receiving free one-on-one support from a medical professional via the NHS. It adds that vaping has since become the most popular method of stopping smoking, with 53% of people using e-cigarettes to try and quit.

The campaign says that by not smoking for the 28 days the campaign runs, smokers are more likely to quit for good and that there are three benefits – being healthy, saving money and protecting one’s family.

However, hypnotherapy can be even quicker and more effective. The NCH says that it might only take a one-session treatment of around 90 minutes as smoking is a habit that you can give up for good, so the therapist may use what is known as aversion techniques which will put you off having another cigarette.

Smoking, says the NCH, is a problem behaviour or an unwanted habit or addiction, ‘something you feel you have no control over which affects your life and the lives of those you care about’.

But, adds the NCH, the good news is that you are in control and you can change how you react to certain situations, and protect yourself in ways that are healthy and which allow you succeed and grow stronger in body and mind.

“You just need to know how to change it, and to believe you can. The reason why hypnotherapy works so rapidly with bad habits and behaviours is because it works directly with your subconscious, bypassing the critical mind and getting to the root of the issue so that changes can be made that support your goals quickly and efficiently.”

Lepper added: “As much as 90% of smoking is mental as nicotine leaves the body in days yet the subconscious mind holds onto the desire to smoke for longer. Hypnotherapy is an effective method for ceasing smoking and if this what you really want to do that it is incredibly successful.”

If you wish to stop smoking, contact one of the more than 1,800 qualified NCH therapists across the UK by clicking here and entering your postcode where applicable. It will be life-changing experience.

Obesity levels among the young raise concern

There is growing concern about global child and teenage obesity levels which have risen 10 times in the last 40 years, the latest research shows, meaning that 124 million boys and girls around the globe are too fat and they are likely to become obese adults, putting them at risk of serious health problems, say experts.

The analysis, published in the Lancet, is the largest of its kind and looks at obesity trends in over 200 countries. In the UK, one in every 10 young people aged five to 19, is obese. Researchers from the World Obesity Forum also warn that the global cost of treating ill health caused by obesity will exceed £920bn every year from 2025.

Although child obesity rates appear to be stabilising in many high-income European countries including the UK, reports the BBC, they are accelerating at an alarming rate in many other parts of the world.

Lead researcher Prof Majid Ezzati from Imperial College London says the wide availability and promotion of cheap, fattening food is one of the main drivers. The researchers found that, that if current world trends continue, ‘obese’ will soon be more common than ‘underweight’ and the number of underweight girls and boys worldwide has been decreasing since a peak in the year 2000.

In 2016, 192m young people were underweight – still significantly more than the number of young people who were obese, but that looks set to change. Globally, in 2016 an additional 213m young people were overweight although still below the threshold for obesity.

Co-researcher Dr Harry Rutter, from the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, said: “This is a huge problem that will get worse. Even skinny people are heavier than they would have been ten years ago. We have not become more weak-willed, lazy or greedy. The reality is the world around us is changing.”

Dr Fiona Bull from the World Health Organization called for tough action to crack down on ‘calorie-dense, nutrient-poor food’ and promote more physical activity.

Fad diets have been proven over the years not to work and the combination of portion control, the right foods and exercise seems to be the best route and achieving this mix can be done through clinical hypnotherapy, says the National Council for Hypnotherapy.

The professional association is the biggest in the UK and has more than 1,800 fully trained and qualified therapists on its register who can help young people and teens overcome their problems in this regard.

Says the NCH: “Managing weight loss is one of the most effective results of hypnotherapy. Rather than just reducing calories that you are likely to put on again in the longer term, hypnosis gets you in touch with the reasons why you unconsciously eat.

“If you are the type of person that struggles to stop after a small piece of chocolate and feels compelled to finish the packet then a hypnotherapist can help you understand why and help you create new healthy self-management techniques.”

The NCH adds that as well as stopping compulsive eating, hypnosis can increase the motivation for exercise and can also help people reduce portion sizes so they lose weight healthily, steadily and for the long term.

Over eating can be a physical condition or it can be an unwanted behaviour which, adds the NCH, can be treated effectively with hypnotherapy as the therapist will ask about when you eat, what you eat, what triggers you to reach for food when you are not hungry, or how often you unconsciously polish off a packet of biscuits and avoid doing exercise.

“The therapist will then put together a programme of treatment that will motivate you to exercise more and eat less. Hypnotherapy for weight loss is about changing your habit with food for the rest of your life, so unlike crash diets it changes the root of your compulsive eating or lack of interest in exercise so you are free to enjoy the rest of your life – eating and exercising sensibly without having to think about it.”

To contact an NCH therapist near you, simply click here to access the NCH directory and follow the instructions.