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Tackling ‘obesity time-bomb’ unites medical profession

17th Apr 2012 - 00:00
The medical profession has come together to launch a campaign on what it claims is the single greatest public health threat in the UK – rising levels of child and adult obesity.

Health professionals from surgeons and psychiatrists to paediatricians and GPs have joined forces under the umbrella of the Academy of Royal Medical Colleges (AoMRC) to launch a campaign which has just started with a three-month evidence-gathering inquiry. The campaign will seek the views of healthcare professionals, local authorities, education providers, charities, campaign groups and the public, in the form of written and oral evidence. It will look specifically for research and experience of actions and strategies that work in preventing or reducing obesity covering five key areas: * Action that can be taken by individuals (e.g. diet, exercise, positive parenting) * The environment (e.g. advertising; food labelling; sponsorship, the built environment, local authority policies and facilities etc.) * Clinical interventions (i.e. what are the effective interventions that clinicians can make on preventing and tackling obesity) * Fiscal measures (taxation, minimum pricing, corporate or personal incentives) * Education (nurseries, schools, further and higher education and public information) Professor Terence Stephenson, vice-chair of the AoMRC and president of the Royal College of Paediatrics and Child Health, is chairing the campaign's steering group which comprises representatives from all 21 Royal Medical Colleges and Faculties. The campaign's first report will be published later this year, offering a series of practical recommendations for how the medical profession, individuals, organisations and Government can ensure an effective and coherent approach to reducing obesity levels. Professor Stephenson said: "Our starting point is the collective desire to ensure the healthcare profession is doing all it can to detect, treat, manage – and ultimately prevent – obesity. "Speaking with one voice we have a more of a chance of preventing generation after generation falling victim to obesity-related illnesses and death."

Written by
PSC Team