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Obesity Program & Weight Loss - UK
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Obesity Program & Weight Loss - UK

Health Improvement Program for Middlesbrough
As a director of public health it is very clear why this matters to me. There is a plethora of medical evidence describing the risks to health that a lack of exercise and being overweight can bring. These are the root causes of obesity and fundamentally the only way to tackle the current epidemic is encourage, educate, stimulate and persuade people to reduce their food consumption, to follow a healthier diet and at the same time to exercise more in their routine lives. The Health Improvement and Modernisation Program for Middlesbrough points out that in my local population more people eat fried food every day (1 in 4) than eat fruit each day (1 in 5). Half take little or no exercise, about half are overweight and about 1 in 6 are classed as obese. These facts need to be addressed in terms of the three key responsibilities of a PCT

Tackling Obesity in the UK - Recommendations

1 Improve the health of the population
This is a clear statement and invitation for PCTs to tackle a lifestyle issue such as obesity as part of this agenda.

2. Commission effective hospital service
Does the PCT commission services to deal with diseases caused by obesity such as coronary heart disease, cancer and diabetes and does it deal directly with obesity as a disease itself?

3 Develop primary and community services
How seriously do GPs take obesity? How many record simple measures such as BMI and how many run weight management clinics? How many practice nurses are encouraged to raise issues of eating habits and exercise with patients attending for different reasons?

Local Strategic Partnerships for Tackling Obesity in the UK
Finally, in order to tackle obesity, or any other lifestyle issue, it is important to integrate strategies into mainstream planning processes. The National Service Framework (NSF) for coronary heart disease clearly lays out the importance of tackling eating habits and lack of exercise as part of both primary and secondary prevention of heart disease. In turn local HIMPs should clearly reflect the actions necessary to implement these strategies. PCTs should ensure Local Strategic Partnerships develop a community strategy that also recognises the importance of tackling obesity and demonstrates actions to do something about it.

Source: Professor Peter Kelly, Director of Public Health, Middlesbrough

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