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, followed by Dr Drew Walker Director of Public Health at NHS Tayside. Now we turn to Professor Naveed Sattar, Professor of Metabolic medicine, University of Glasgow
1. Compulsory and yearly education on how to improve diet and activity levels and benefits etc in all schools and all ages up to the age of 14 in the same way that religious education is done and with exams included. The course should be developed by a group of experts in the field and continually improved over time. Parents should also be shown a video on school commencement.
2. Legislate in the UK to demand total calorie content on all foods in BIG writing so individuals know exactly how many calories they are buying or eating – I appreciate this may be hard for some foods but it can be done with minimal investment
3. A PROLONGED media campaign on how to start to changing ones taste preferences – based on evidence of continual trying different foods (fruit and veg etc) to retrain the palate
4. More NHS funds to refer more patients who are overweight or obese to commercial health (until evidence base shows the success of NHS programmes). Explore the possible contribution of the voluntary sector to supporting weight management.
5. Tax processed foods that are high in sugar or saturated fat, and reinvest that money in effective measures to increase intake of fruit, vegetables, and healthier options.