The obesity message
Kimberley Lloyd asks, is this the trigger your patients needed?
In July, the government launched another bid to tackle the obesity problem; this wasn’t the first government-backed plan to help people lose weight and it won’t be the last. Over the last decade, across the UK, rates of obesity have been on the rise – data now classes two-thirds of adults in England as overweight and one quarter as obese, with Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland having “nearly identical” levels. This compares poorly with most other countries in Europe and it’s not just the grown-ups; a strategy to reduce levels of childhood obesity was set out in 2016.
Of course, the reason that obesity is back in the spotlight is due to the evidence that links being overweight with serious complications, or death, from Covid-19. The UK’s weight problem has repeatedly been called a timebomb, and a threat to public health by practitioners from all disciplines. This latest drive, in the middle of a pandemic that has touched all our lives, now has a greater sense of urgency.