In December 2006 The BMJ published a series of articles on the ABC of Obesity, the last of which highlighted the importance of prevention. In the ten years since the paper was published obesity rates have failed to decrease and the association between obesity and cancer has become even clearer.
The Scottish authors proposed a range of action which might help turn the obesity tide. At a time when a new Scottish obesity strategy is being launched we think it is timely to look at these proposals again. Here are some of the suggestions made (alongside others that focus on the built environment, advertising, taxation and treatment)
* Make certified training in obesity and weight management available for all health care professionals
* Ensure a health check (including BMI and waist measurement) for all school leavers (both primary and secondary)
* Display energy content of all meals and snacks at retail and catering outlets with a warning if >700 kcals or >250 kcal
* Include helpline numbers for advice with all clothes sold with waist >102 cm for men .94 cm for boys, >88 cm or size >16 for women >80 cm for girls
* Launch a health promotion campaign on the methods and benefits of weight maintenance and 5 to 10kg weight loss
One further proposal was that the country establishes a dedicated central agency responsible for all aspects of obesity nationally. Obesity Action Scotland is a great start is this direction and lets hope we see more action ahead