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There are six types of obese individuals that need tailored treatment, research suggests

New research suggests those who have a body mass index (BMI) of 30 or over actually fit into one of six groups and strategies to successfully tackle weight loss should be tailored according to which group they fall into.

Currently obese individuals are treated the same, regardless of their health, where they live or their behaviour.

The six groups were identified as: young males who were heavy drinkers, middle aged individuals who were unhappy and anxious, older people who, despite living with physical health conditions were happy, younger healthy females, older affluent healthy adults and individuals with very poor health. The study used the data of 4,144 obese individuals, and was led by Dr Mark Green from the University of Sheffield's school of health and related research (ScHARR).

Green said: "Policies designed to tackle obesity and encourage healthier lifestyles often target individuals just because they are obese. Our research showed that those in the groups that we identified are likely to need very different services, and will respond very differently to different health promotion policies.

"In the future, we hope that GPs will keep in mind these six groups when offering advice to their patients."