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, are joining forces under the umbrella of the Academy of Royal Medical Colleges (AoMRC) to launch the campaign, which begins today with a three-month evidence-gathering inquiry.
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 that comprises representatives from all 21 Royal Medical Colleges and Faculties.
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 (eg diet, exercise, positive parenting).
- The environment (eg advertising; food labelling; sponsorship, the built environment, local authority policies and facilities etc).
- Clinical interventions (ie 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).
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. The report will provide the springboard for campaigning activity which will continue into next year.
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.
"It is unprecedented that the medical royal colleges and faculties have come together on such a high-profile public health issue, but we’ve done so because we recognise the huge crisis waiting to happen and believe that current strategies to reduce obesity are failing to have a significant impact.
"Speaking with one voice, we have a more of a chance of preventing generation after generation falling victim to obesity-related illnesses and death.”
- The good news and bad news about obesity 8 MAR 2012 | Health
- New poll reveals the severity of the US obesity crisis 13 FEB 2012 | Food
- Douwe Egberts redesigns packaging to reflect UTZ certification
- GlaxoSmithKline repositions Revive from Lucozade to drive sales
- Rabobank identifies three forces driving the hybrid consumer trend