Public health researcher Charan Gill provides an inside look at the Government’s new obesity strategy and discusses if it’s the way to tackle the obesity crisis.
In July the UK government released the ‘Tackling Obesity: empowering adults and children to live healthier lives strategy’. As a public health researcher, I was eagerly waiting for this to be published and I know many others were also anticipating what was going to be released in the document. This new strategy has received a great deal of criticism, and although it does raise valid and important points, it has left many confused. Despite this, there have also been several important issues raised which needed to be addressed. Over recent years, several obesity strategies have been published, but I want to highlight some key positives from this strategy and how I see it working.
Firstly, I want to recognise how great it is to see the government emphasising on public health and prevention. Acknowledging that there are public health services that can offer huge benefits to the public and will in turn have beneficial impacts and reduced strain on the NHS. The strategy claims that the government will expand weight management services and the NHS Diabetes Prevention Programme which are a few services which can offer preventative support. These suggestions are fantastic and offer practical resources to support individuals who want to make healthy lifestyle changes. (more…)
With NHS funding for IVF diminishing, Imperial researchers are looking at weights loss as a way to support men who have obesity-related reproductive dysfunction.
Infertility is the inability to have children after 12 months of regular unprotected intercourse and is fairly common, affecting 1 in 7 couples. Male factor infertility refers to infertility secondary to poor sperm quality, and while it is talked about less than female infertility, it is responsible for 40% of infertile cases. Obesity is a rising global epidemic, so it is no surprise that a quarter of men attending fertility centres are obese.
During the last few decades, tremendous advances have taken place in the treatment of women diagnosed with infertility. However, little progress is made for couples with male factor infertility. Therefore, the only therapy offered to couples is assisted reproduction, such as in-vitro fertilisation (IVF) therapy. IVF is effective but with NHS funding diminishing it can be expensive, as well as having potentially life-threatening complications for the female partner such as ovarian hyper-stimulation syndrome. That’s why we need to look at other options for couples affected by infertility. (more…)
Dr Tim Chambers explains the damaging effects of marketing of unhealthy commodities on children’s health and what we can do to tackle the problem.
Unhealthy commodities such as junk food, alcohol, and gambling are leading causes of non-communicable diseases, mental illness, injury, and many social harms. The collective global health burden of diet– and alcohol-related diseases is estimated at five million deaths each year. But what is the role of marketing of these unhealthy commodities in driving their growing consumption?
Unhealthy commodities marketing through the eyes of a child
Children’s exposure to unhealthy commodities marketing, regardless of the product, has an adverse impact on their health. For example, junk food marketing shapes children’s dietary preferences and alcohol marketing is positively associated with earlier onset drinking and the likelihood of engaging in hazardous drinking. Children are particularly susceptible to marketing as they are unable to fully comprehend the biases inherent in ads. But with the unprecedented access and engagement with different media, how much marketing for unhealthy commodities are children actually seeing on a daily basis? (more…)
To mark National Obesity Awareness Week, Professor Tricia Tan explains how new research is harnessing the power of hormones to treat obesity more effectively.
Obesity has been an issue for centuries. However, it has transformed from a disease that once only touched a small number of people to a major health concern that currently affects one in four adults in the UK. As a result, obesity is now always in the news. Although many obese people are reasonably healthy, we know that obesity increases the risks of developing heart disease, diabetes mellitus (high blood sugar), cancer, respiratory problems (such as sleep apnoea and asthma) and arthritis. Obesity and its related health problems threaten to reverse the gains in lifespan that we have seen through the 20th century. So, how can we begin to tackle it? (more…)
In this post, Dr Aruchuna Mohanaruban tackles the most asked questions about the EndoBarrier – a medical device for the treatment of type 2 diabetes and obesity.
UK obesity rates have continued to rise at an alarming rate, with figures higher than any other developed nation. Strongly associated with obesity is the increased susceptibility to developing type 2 diabetes (T2DM) which currently affects 3.2 million of the UK population. Bariatric surgery – a type of surgery aimed at inducing weight loss – usually by altering the stomach and/or intestines has revolutionised the treatment of these conditions and can lead to a 60% remission in diabetes. However, with demand for this type of surgery outstripping supply, there is a greater need to develop non-surgical alternatives to combat the ever-rising obesity and diabetes epidemic. (more…)