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Time for a new approach to obesity

Time for a new approach to obesity

Publication date: Thursday, 31 May 2018

A recent parliamentary study has revealed that 88% of people with obesity have been stigmatised, criticised or abused as a result of their obesity. The All-Party Parliamentary Group on Obesity has launched a report which finds the NHS is failing people with obesity. A survey conducted by the Group found that four out of ten people with obesity found it difficult to access lifestyle and prevention services.

The Group has called for:

  • A national obesity strategy, bringing together different government departments, to ensure children are protected from junk food and adults with obesity who seek help from their GP have access to advice and treatment. Access to effective obesity services is currently a postcode lottery, with decisions on funding for obesity services being made by local commissioners. A whole-system approach with government backing, they said, would make action more likely.
  • The Government to lead or support efforts by the clinical community to investigate whether obesity should be classified as a disease in the UK, and what this would mean for the NHS and other services.
  • The Government to commission or support the development of a thorough, peer-reviewed cost benefit analysis of earlier intervention and treatment of patients with obesity.
  • A 9 pm watershed for advertisements for junk food, to tackle childhood obesity.

Andrew Selous MP, chair of the All-Party Parliamentary Group, said: “The need to tackle obesity is rising fast up the political agenda, and I am pleased to launch this timely report into the whole obesity pathway. Our cross-party group is calling for an ambitious national obesity strategy which covers the prevention and treatment of childhood and adult obesity. We want to see the NHS provide an appropriate and uniform service to people with obesity across the country. If we don’t tackle the obesity crisis effectively, the additional pressures on the NHS will be unsustainable.”


Main findings of the report

  • 94% of all respondents believe that there is not enough understanding about the causes of obesity amongst the public, politicians and other stakeholders.
  • 42% of people with obesity did not feel comfortable talking to their GP about their obesity.
  • More than one third of people with obesity who completed the survey stated that they have not accessed any lifestyle or prevention services.

More information

Download the APPG report on obesity from https://www.aso.org.uk/wp-content/uploads/2018/05/APPG-Obesity-Report-May-2018.pdf

Topics covered:
Category: Have You Heard
Edition: Volume 1, Number 1, BJPCN Online 2004

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