The role of obesity in cancer is too big to ignore.
What is agreed is that Scotland needs a bold and brave strategy for tackling obesity. There will be no “one size fits all”. In our blog published on January 1st, we reflected on what has happened in 10 years and where we might progress. This week we are continuing this theme and have asked SCPN members who have many years experience in the obesity field to give us their top 5 aspirations for the forthcoming obesity strategy?
First off, Joyce Thompson, Chair of the Scottish Board of the British Dietetic Association gave us her thoughts, now we turn to Dr Drew Walker, Director of Public Health for NHS Tayside
1. The government must recognise the problem of obesity in Scotland as an epidemic, so it should deal with it by adopting the same principles which would apply to a national epidemic of infection. The necessary actions should be led and initiated by Government, or the central agency referred to above. The actions required by all agencies should be agreed and implementation of these actions should be firmly performance managed, with underperformance on any front quickly identified and rectified. This should apply to all public sector organisations.
2 Government and these agencies need to be prepared for accusations of nanny-statism and firmly reject these. Public, professional and political support for action is growing in Scotland, and an alliance of these sources of support needs to take on the vested interests who will oppose any measures to tackle our obesogenic environment. The moral high ground is there to be taken.
3.Tackling that obesogenic environment at a local level needs to be done as an equal partnership – through co-production – between public sector and third sector organisations, and local people and communities themselves.
4. All public sector policies, both existing and planned, should be subjected to an obesity impact assessment, and mitigating action must be taken to lessen the impact of any policies which are net contributors to obesity in our population
5. The obesity epidemic is impacting more on less affluent people in Scotland, so tackling obesity must become a core element of the Scottish Government’s approach to reducing health inequalities.