Travelling with Obesity

Rates of obesity have continued to grow in both adults and children in recent years and it’s considered one of the leading risks for global deaths. It also helps to burden those with the condition with further medical complications including type 2 diabetes, high blood pressure, ischaemic heart disease and certain forms of cancer.

In the UK its estimated that 28% adults are obese and a further 36% overweight, that’s almost two thirds of adults considered at least overweight and the percentages are growing with children also.

What is obesity?

Obesity is defined as an excessive fat accumulation that presents a risk to health. Essentially this is someone who is overweight with a lot of body fat.

A BMI (body mass index) of 25 or more is considered overweight, 30 and over is obese and anything above 40 indicates someone morbidly obese.

The condition can be caused by (but is not limited to) the following:

  • Eating more calories than burned through physical activity
  • Genetics
  • Other health conditions and medications
  • Stress and poor sleep

Obesity causes its own physical changes to someone suffering from the condition which can include breathlessness, difficulty doing physical activity, joint / back pain and low self-esteem but it’s the increased risk of developing more serious health conditions which is concerning. Its estimated that obesity reduces life expectancy by an average of 3 to 10 years.

What is the body mass index?

The body mass index (BMI) scale is a calculation based on a person’s weight in kilograms divided by their height in metres squared. Want to check out your body mass index? The NHS have a great calculator which can be found here (

BMI isn’t perfect and its only an estimate that does not take into account an individual person’s body composition, someone can be very muscly for example which would throw the index off.

Travel insurance for obesity

We make it easy for you to declare obesity when trying to get a travel insurance quote with our online medical screening process. Just enter the condition name and we ask a maximum of three questions:

  • Do you need a machine to assist your breathing whilst sleeping?
  • Are you aged 16 or over?
  • What’s your height & weight?

Once these quick and easy questions are answered you can move onto getting your quotes and checking what options we have when it comes to covering your obesity in a travel insurance policy.

The page uses information from the following sources:

In need of assistance?

Our medical travel insurance team are ready to provide you with assistance regarding your quote. If you would prefer to talk to an advisor to receive a quote or have a query please contact our UK based customer service team. Find out details on our contact us page.