Strategic council set up to drive down obesity rates
A strategic council has been set up to give advice on how to improve the prevention and treatment of obesity.
The All-Party Parliamentary Group (APPG) on Obesity recently held its inaugural meeting and decided to form council, made up of leading academics, clinicians, policy-makers and patient representatives.
The aim is to offer advice on how to reverse the UK’s rising obesity rates and to delegate voluntary task and finish groups to take practical steps to reduce obesity.
The Strategic Council will provide a constant source of expert advice as we try to develop policy that will help people to stay healthy as well as ensuring everyone has the access to the services they require
Co-chair Eleanor Smith MP
The council will create a forum to discuss the joining up of obesity prevention and treatment and how to reduce the impact of obesity on the lives of those living in the UK.
Co-chair of the APPG on Obesity, Andrew Selous MP, said: “This council will help the APPG go from strength to strength. The APPG has been calling for improved prevention through a 9pm watershed on advertising of food and drinks high in fat, sugar and salt and we are pleased that the Government has consulted on this. The strategic council’s knowledge and experience will help the APPG to push for even more progress.”
Co-chair Eleanor Smith MP said: “The Strategic Council will provide a constant source of expert advice as we try to develop policy that will help people to stay healthy as well as ensuring everyone has the access to the services they require. Not only will this improve the quality of life of patients living with obesity, but given the wider cost of obesity to public spending, it will also ease the financial burden on the NHS.”
Obesity is one of the greatest health problems facing the UK, with more than 60 per cent of adults in England classed as overweight or living with obesity.
Similarly, childhood obesity rates are also on the rise – 34 per cent of children aged 10-11 years have a weight status classified as overweight or obese. In 2018, the rate of severe obesity amongst year 6 children reached its highest level ever.
If current trends continue, obesity will continue to pose an increasing risk to public health. Obesity is associated with significant health problems such as type 2 diabetes, cardiovascular disease and certain types of cancer and causes significant cost to the NHS.
Picture credit: Christopher Flowers