We are now not far into the New Year and it is National Obesity Awareness Week. If you have made a new year’s resolution to improve your health, here are a few small nudges that would have a true impact on your family meals. Some of the key components of a healthy meal for a family can be seen in the traditional Sunday meal, portion of potatoes (starchy carbohydrates), a portion of meat (protein), and a heap of veggies.
At some point near the end of many weight management programmes service-users are asked “Would you mind completing this short survey about the programme”? Questions usually focus on a range of issues such as the usefulness of the programme, staff support, facilities, communication, post-programme goals etc. A rating scale is often presented and instructions given to respond between 1 and 10, with 1 reflecting that you ‘strongly agree’ and 10 ‘strongly disagree’ with a particular statement. We believe it is important to gain the views and options of services-users about their programme experiences.
The concept of a whole systems approach has seen a dramatic rise in popularity in recent years. Five years ago, you would have struggled to find this terminology, yet today its use seems ubiquitous. Defined as a 'strategic integrated approach to planning and delivering services', a quick internet search demonstrates examples in patient safety, acute kidney injury, public financial management, active lifestyles, youth justice, asthma management, homelessness, dementia care and poverty, to name but a few.
The role of the government is to set and influence the public health agenda and, where relevant, set expectations and boundaries for associated actors that have a role in supporting healthy behaviours. As such, the government has a responsibility to act through evidence collation, and ultimately, by developing associated policies, campaigns and other work. In the UK, several public health policies have emerged specifically focused on or with reference to obesity.
Currently there is a national debate about whether obesity should be recognised as a disease in the UK. Most people are unaware that obesity is already classified as a disease in the UK, however, is not recognised as a disease. The implications of this is that healthcare settings do not approach, measure or where appropriate treat obesity in the same way that they do other diseases, and healthcare professionals therefore are not mandated for their actions. This debate has been bubbling away for some time, and very recently the Royal College of Physicians announced their backing for obesity to be recognised as a disease.
Pinki Sahota, Professor of Nutrition and Childhood Obesity, looks at the Childhood Obesity plan to mark National Childhood Obesity Week.
On the 15 May 2018, I attended the All Party Parliamentary Group on obesity’s launch of the “The Current Landscape of Obesity Services”. Within the report, the findings of a survey that amongst other topics explored patients’ perceptions and experiences of weight stigma and discrimination were disseminated.
Stigmatisation and discrimination based on characteristics such as sex, ethnicity and mental health has become less acceptable in the UK.
In the last of our blogs to mark National Obesity Awareness Week, Dr Duncan Radley, Matt Butler and Joanna Saunders from Leeds Beckett University discuss why we need to use a whole systems approach to tackle obesity.
In the fourth of our blogs to mark National Obesity Awareness Week, Dr Claire Griffiths, Adele Morrin and Alex Christensen from Leeds Beckett University discuss whether proximity matters when it comes to tackling obesity.
In the third of our blogs to mark National Obesity Awareness Week, Dr Stuart Flint, Rebecca Smith and Maddie Sweetman from Leeds Beckett University discuss eliminating weight stigma and discrimination in health promotion campaigns.
In the second of our blogs to mark National Obesity Awareness Week, James Nobles and Professor Paul Gately from Leeds Beckett University and Carol Weir from MoreLife discuss the lack of funding for weight management services
In the first of our blogs to mark National Obesity Awareness Week, Professor Pinki Sahota and Dr Sara Ahern from Leeds Beckett University discuss the importance of healthy nutrition in childhood and how early adoption of good habits can set children up for life.
Dr Sara Ahern
Whole Systems Obesity Project
Matthew Hobbs is a PhD Candidate at Leeds Beckett University studying the built environment and its relationship with obesity. He is also a Lecturer in Physical Activity, Exercise and Health at Leeds Trinity University. In this blog post, he outlines his current research which explores the importance of parks for public health.
Following a new report published this week which suggests children who lead inactive lives are likely to grow up to become middle-aged couch potatoes, Professor Jim McKenna from Leeds Beckett University’s Active Lifestyles Research Centre, offers his thoughts.
In this blog post, PhD Research student Katie Pickering and Professor Jim McKenna reflect on the findings of a recent study which suggests lack of exercise could be killing twice as many people as obesity in Europe.
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