An all-round approach to weight management
Obesity not only has effects on an individual’s health, but it takes its toll on health systems as a whole. Each year budgets are increasing to help support the services that treat, and prevent, obesity and obesity related illnesses. A multi-pronged strategy is required to combat obesity and its effects. In a recent study in Australia, researchers have sought to identify those most at risk of the disease; the study included more than 1.3 million pregnant women, and is being described as the largest study and most comprehensive of its kind. The country itself has committed $20 billion to maximise the effectiveness of studies such as these and to implement the recommendations that they propose.
Experts are also hoping to use these funds to create a ‘co-ordinated national approach’ to respond to the epidemic. This approach would include a prevention strategy, stronger regulation and legislation, recognition of obesity as a chronic disease, and more education and upskilling for healthcare workers. One area that they are particularly keen to promote is education within the sphere of health practitioners, so that these workers are aware of the best treatment strategies for their patients. If an effective national approach can be developed in Australia, many countries may follow suit in order to tackle the growing problem of obesity.