Tom Kerridge health: ‘I did not think I was in danger’ – chef’s ‘shock’ health warning

Tom Kerridge discusses his 12 stone weight loss journey

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At the age of 40, Tom was diagnosed as clinically obese and weighed around 40 stone. The NHS explains that obesity is a common problem and is estimated to affect around one in every four adults in the UK. Being obese comes with multiple risk factors. In addition to obvious physical changes, it can lead to a number of potentially life-threatening conditions such as type 2 diabetes, coronary heart disease, breast cancer, bowel cancer and stroke. Deciding to make drastic changes to his diet and incorporating exercise into his daily routine, Tom was able to lose an impressive amount of weight, but keeping it off has proved to be a challenge.

His 2020 show Lose Weight and Get Fit with Tom Kerridge, the chef and 11 others were documented during their weight loss journey.

Each participant was measured using special machinery at Hartpury College in his native Gloucester, and for Tom especially, this brought about surprising results.

Stepping on the scales, the chef saw that his weight had crept up to 22 stone and the percentage of body fat around his organs was double the recommended level, putting him at high risk of heart disease.

Cardiovascular disease (CVD), also known as heart and circulatory disease is an umbrella name for conditions that affect the heart and circulation.

The British Heart Foundation (BHF) explains that heart disease includes conditions that narrow or block blood vessels, which can potentially lead to heart attacks, angina and some types of stroke.

Heart disease also covers conditions that affect your heart’s muscle, valves or cause abnormal rhythms (arrhythmias).

The NHS adds that heart disease is a “major cause of death” both worldwide and in the UK and is typically caused by the heart’s blood supply being blocked or interrupted by a build-up of fatty substances known as atheroma.

The process of “furring” is also known as atherosclerosis, which can be caused by lifestyle factors such as smoking and regularly drinking excessive amounts of alcohol.

Commenting on the results of his health tests, Tom said: “That’s a shock.

“I did not think I was in danger.”

“A few years ago I lost a load of weight but lately, it’s started creeping back on again,” he said on the show.

“We can make all the excuses in the world but the scales don’t lie. I’ve been eating all the pies.”

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After getting their results, the group embarked on a two month health journey which saw them exercising in a rugby training ground, as well as jogging around the Gloucester Quays.

Although the chef narrowly escaped a diagnosis of heart disease, for the 7.6 million people living with heart or circulatory disease in the UK it remains a serious illness.

The BHF explains that potential symptoms of heart disease include the following:

  • Chest pain
  • Pain, weakness or numb legs and/or arms
  • Breathlessness
  • Very fast or slow heartbeat, or palpitations
  • Feeling dizzy, lightheaded or faint
  • Fatigue
  • Swollen limbs.

The condition is diagnosed by a medical professional, and can be determined after the results of certain tests such as a blood test, chest x-ray, CT scan and electrocardiogram (ECG).

Although the condition cannot be cured, treatment can help to manage any of the above symptoms and reduce the risk of individuals suffering from heart attacks.

Treatment options include:

  • Lifestyle changes, such as regular exercise and stopping smoking
  • Medicines
  • Angioplasty – where balloons and stents are used to treat narrow heart arteries
  • Surgery.

Similarly to Tom, preventing heart disease is possible and can be achieved by making some simple lifestyle changes.

The main changes that you can make include the following:

  • Eating a healthy, balanced diet
  • Being physically active
  • Giving up smoking
  • Controlling blood cholesterol and sugar levels.

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