Target Paper - Obesity Epidemic, Paranoia or Evidence Based?

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

The Bow Health & Education Policy Committee has today published a new target policy paper, "Obesity Epidemic - Paranoia or Evidence Based?" It assesses current predictions indicating that 60% of the UK population will be classified as clinically obese by 2050 and recommends action to reduce this risk. Supported by a foreword from Professor David Haslam (Chairman of the National Obesity Forum) and including contributions from TV Chef Antony Worrall Thompson and Cancer Research UK, the paper establishes the facts surrounding the obesity debate by reviewing the existing evidence base. To help inform the Government's forthcoming policy document on obesity, the paper proposes recommendations to improve Government policy targeted at dealing with obesity in the UK.    It is crucial that the Government does not take its eye off the ball regarding Britain's obesity problem.  At a time of fiscal restraint and with the NHS facing a massive funding challenge, the UK can ill afford the significant costs associated with treating and managing obesity. Key recommendations from the report include:   The Quality and Outcomes Framework should be changed so that GPs are incentivised not only to register obese patients, but to manage their patients so that they lose weight. Businesses, organisations, voluntary groups and other employing institutions should do more to ensure that they promote healthy living amongst their employees. It should be mandatory for all GP consortia and Health and Wellbeing Boards to have professional representation from a nutritionist to ensure appropriate skill mix. Greater powers and greater freedom must be given to local government to tackle factors that affect health and wellbeing. The Government should continue with their plans for Change 4Life and be part of the "Big Society". Nutrition must form a greater part of the undergraduate medical and nursing curricula with students made aware of the causes, consequences and management principals of obesity. To view the full report, please download it below.