JAKARTA, Indonesia – In a significant move to expand educational opportunities in Indonesia, the College of Contemporary Health’s (CCH) Dzidek Sabat has successfully forged a new path of collaboration with one of Indonesia’s most prestigious educational institutions. During his recent visit, Dzidek met with officials from the Makara UI Academy, a division of the esteemed University of Indonesia (UI), the UI Faculty of Nursing, and representatives from the Indonesian Nurses Association Educational Institution. These meetings highlighted a shared vision for educational advancement and underscored the importance of global partnerships in enriching learning experiences.
The visit reached a remarkable milestone with the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) between CCH and the University of Indonesia. This gala event marked the beginning of a significant collaboration, wherein CCH will provide its cutting-edge online training courses to Indonesian learners. This agreement opens up new avenues for students and professionals in Indonesia to access CCH’s renowned online educational resources, thus bridging geographical barriers and fostering a more interconnected world of knowledge and skills.
Further deepening this educational exchange, Dzidek engaged in an enriching all-day workshop with the staff of Makara UI Academy. This session focused on the exchange of online course development expertise and best practices, setting the stage for a robust and dynamic educational partnership. Such interactions not only enrich the educational fabric of both organisations but also pave the way for innovative learning solutions tailored to the evolving needs of students globally.
This partnership is a testament to CCH’s commitment to extending its educational reach and impact, while also enriching the learning landscape in Indonesia. It’s a step towards a future where education knows no bounds, and learning is a shared, global journey.
About the College of Contemporary Health (CCH):
CCH is a leader in online education, providing top-tier learning resources across various disciplines. With a focus on making high-quality education accessible, CCH continues to break new ground in online learning, fostering academic excellence and innovation worldwide.
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Recent scholarly insights have underlined a potentially transformative role that educators can play in combating the alarming rates of childhood obesity, particularly in the United States (US). As published in the reputable journal Nutrients, a meticulous study embarked on an exploratory journey to gauge the impact teachers could make in mitigating this health crisis among the younger generation.
The roots of childhood obesity have embedded themselves deep within the US, displaying a consistent upward trend, with a pronounced prevalence in disadvantaged regions. The escalating concern has drawn concerted interventions from health authorities at local, state, and federal levels, spotlighting schools as pivotal arenas for executing preventative measures.
At the heart of these initiatives lies an appreciable emphasis on the instrumental role of teachers. By being on the frontlines of programme delivery, they emerge as invaluable assets in recognising and diffusing obesity-curbing strategies among students. However, the pressing commitments inherent to the teaching profession pose a formidable challenge to prioritising their health – a dilemma exacerbated by the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic, which brought to light the imperative of maintaining teacher well-being.
In 2022, a seminal report from the RAND Corporation shed light on a concerning level of job-induced stress among teachers, pointing towards a positive correlation between employer-facilitated wellness programs and reduced stress levels. Multiple strands of research echo a similar sentiment: a robust student-teacher rapport is a cornerstone for fostering student engagement, regular attendance, enhanced emotional well-being, and an overall conducive academic atmosphere.
An investigative team from the American University, Washington, orchestrated an elaborate five-year intervention venture beginning in 2017. The primary objective was to immerse educators in a milieu of nutrition literacy, aimed at equipping them with the requisite skill set to impart obesity-preventive knowledge among elementary scholars in Washington, DC. The study encapsulated four schools, two of which were designated as control while the others were intervention cohorts. Teachers, pivotal to this initiative, furnished demographic details and partook in Teacher Health Surveys before and subsequent to the intervention period.
Survey feedback, encapsulated through a Likert scale, facilitated an overall health score, amalgamated from various metrics including chronic conditions, self-efficacy, health education ideologies, and general health standings. The project’s crux was to evaluate the influence of a professional development scheme on augmenting teachers’ capacity to infuse nutrition-centric discourse into their pedagogical regimen.
Each intervention session commenced with a wellness-centric activity, transitioning into a demonstration lesson from “Serving up MyPlate: A Yummy Curriculum.” Teachers at the intervention forefront were required to integrate a minimum of three nutrition-dedicated lessons throughout the academic year. To measure the pedagogical impact, a Student Nutrition Literacy Survey was administered at both the outset and the conclusion of the intervention.
The data depicted a collective participation of 92 educators from both the control and intervention factions. The demographic backdrop of these teachers showcased a reasonable level of uniformity across the schools. An age average of 36 years, a predominant female representation (84.8%), and a significant Black demographic (68.5%) constituted the participant profile.
A cadre of 55 teachers from the intervention spectrum attended the professional development suite, orchestrating 71 nutrition-oriented lessons. A meticulous Poisson regression analysis unearthed a predictive association among job stress, professional development attendance, and self-efficacy towards the incorporation of nutrition lessons. An incremental self-efficacy score and each additional session attendance manifested a 25% and 48% increased likelihood, respectively, of infusing nutrition lectures into the curriculum. Interestingly, a stark inverse relation was observed between stress levels and self-efficacy scores.
The investigative lens also focused on the ripple effect of health scores, lesson implementations, and aggregate health scores. A noticeable inverse relationship emerged between lesson execution and stress levels, indicating that session attendance contributed to lower stress levels among teachers. Moreover, a higher aggregate health score was recorded for teachers who integrated three or more nutrition lessons compared to their counterparts. The student demographic, comprising both intervention and control schools, showcased a balanced representation concerning age, gender, and grade level.
The baseline knowledge levels didn’t exhibit significant discrepancies between the students of intervention and control schools. However, a commendable uptick in scores was observed among students of the intervention cohort who were recipients of nutrition education from session-attending teachers. Notably, students exposed to three or more nutrition lessons reflected a 10% enhancement in their scores compared to those receiving two or fewer lessons.
The observations evinced the practicability and sustainability of a short-term professional development module aimed at fostering teacher health while concurrently advancing nutrition education. It’s imperative to highlight that although the rise in healthful eating awareness is promising, it doesn’t necessarily translate to a behavioural modification. A holistic approach to enhancing student health necessitates a foundational support structure for teacher health, underscoring the necessity of workplace professional development.
Empowering teachers with a robust knowledge repository, a wealth of resources, and adeptness in managing their health not only transforms them into educational conduits but also as potent change agents in the classroom. By co-opting teachers as collaborative partners in the quest to curb childhood obesity, a more structured pathway towards attaining health equity is envisioned. The study, in essence, reinforces the potential of a professional development framework as a viable stratagem in advancing teacher well-being and fortifying the bulwark against childhood obesity.Read More
The realm of obesity medicine is witnessing a remarkable influx of interest among U.S. physicians, showcased by a record-setting number of nearly 1,900 applicants aspiring to gain certification in this burgeoning field, as per recent figures released by the American Board of Obesity Medicine (ABOM). The forthcoming certification examination slated for October has garnered the participation of 1,889 physicians, portraying a significant ascent from the 1,001 candidates recorded in the previous year, a steep rise of 88.7%.
This amplified inclination towards obesity medicine certification among physicians parallels the soaring demand among patients for GLP-1 receptor agonist medications, namely Ozempic and Wegovy. The escalating appeal of these medications is underscored by the remarkable sales figure of Ozempic, which, as of August 2023, eclipsed $3 billion in the U.S. market.
Since its inception in 2012, the obesity medicine certification has been bestowed upon over 6,700 physicians. The profile of attendees for the upcoming October exam delineates a diverse representation, with 38% being internal medicine physicians and 30% specialising in family medicine. A prerequisite for appearing in the certification exam mandates physicians to accrue a minimum of 60 continuing medical education credits focusing on obesity.
The burgeoning interest in obesity medicine is also echoed in the sentiments shared by Dr. Judith Korner, MD, PhD, the board chair of ABOM, in a statement released on September 20. Dr. Korner emphasised that numerous diplomats have conveyed their pursuit of certification as a testament to their adeptness and knowledge in addressing obesity—a domain which often receives scant attention during their preceding medical instruction.
Dr. Korner further elucidated that the acknowledgment of obesity as a multifaceted chronic ailment, coupled with the progressive strides in devising efficacious treatment modalities, is fuelling the aspirations of physicians to render optimal care for individuals grappling with obesity. This, she believes, is the propelling force enticing a growing number of physicians towards this rapidly evolving medical frontier.
The establishment of ABOM in 2011 marked the genesis of a structured pathway for physicians to garner expertise in obesity medicine, and the current surge in applications embodies the expanding recognition and relevance of this medical specialty in contemporary healthcare paradigms.
The College of Contemporary Health, based in the United Kingdom, is also a pioneer in the field of education in obesity care and weight management, offering students from around the world certification in the field in the form of both postgraduate education and continuing professional development. Find our prospectus here to learn more.Read More
General practitioners (GPs) often dispense vague and unproductive weight-loss advice to patients struggling with obesity, reveals a study led by the University of Oxford and published in the journal Family Practice. Having analysed 159 audio recordings of consultations in 137 UK surgeries, researchers found that doctors’ advice, such as “reduce your carbohydrates” and “move more,” was largely generic and rarely tailored to the patients’ pre-existing knowledge and habits.
The complexity of obesity management, particularly its multifactorial nature, can make the provision of comprehensive, effective advice a daunting task for many overworked and diligent GPs. However, in a healthcare landscape where a mere 0.1% of doctors have received any training in obesity care (1), it becomes essential to question the status quo.
Indeed, the imperative nature of this issue becomes clearer when considering the qualitative research led by Dr. Madeleine Tremblett at the University’s Nuffield Department of Primary Care Health Sciences. For patients living with obesity, Tremblett argues that the common message to “eat less and do more” isn’t fitting. Micro-behavioural changes typically suggested by GPs often fail to create meaningful weight-loss impacts for these patients.
GPs themselves require guidance about evidence-based advice they can offer to people living with obesity, hinting at the need for a more profound understanding and specialised training in obesity care.
While many nutrition professionals acknowledge that weight-loss management is a specialist subject, the current training gap among healthcare professionals indicates an unmet need in medical education. We need to look beyond a sole consultation with a nutritionist and understand the value of comprehensive training, such as that provided by the College of Contemporary Health (CCH).
The case of Mel Idroos, a PGDip in Lifestyle Medicine (Obesity Care) graduate from CCH, serves as an inspiring example of the difference professional training in obesity care can make. Working in the Well-being directorate, Mel’s patient base predominantly consists of individuals with overweight or obesity.
With her Postgraduate Diploma from CCH, Mel has already begun to apply her newfound knowledge, developing and delivering Tier 2 adult weight management services. Mel’s experience underscores the potential of robust and comprehensive training in the treatment of obesity. With her newfound confidence, she can now navigate the complexities of patient questions and provide valuable advice that enhances patient health outcomes.
The training offered by institutions like CCH, coupled with practical implementation, can bring a significant change in patient care. It’s therefore essential for health systems and medical institutions to acknowledge this training gap and equip healthcare professionals with the skills they need to improve their patients’ health.
Obesity is a complex condition that demands a sophisticated approach. Only by tailoring advice to the unique needs and circumstances of each patient can we hope to make strides in obesity care. It’s time to move beyond the “one-size-fits-all” advice and equip our healthcare professionals with the skills to provide non-judgemental nuanced, patient-specific advice. Only then can we truly claim to be tackling the obesity epidemic head-on.
Thus, training healthcare professionals in obesity care is not just an opportunity to improve individual patient outcomes, it’s a public health imperative. Institutions like the College of Contemporary Health, which provide such comprehensive training, are leading the way in this essential work.
- Candesic Consultancy (2015) Obesity training levels in the UK workforce (analysis of HSCIC workforce statistic)
Published in NPR, “Scant Obesity Training in Medical School Leaves Doctors Ill-Prepared to Help Patients” highlights the lack of obesity education in medical schools, leaving doctors unprepared to help patients with obesity. According to the article, only about 25% of U.S. medical schools require a course on nutrition and only about half require a course on obesity. The article argues that this lack of training leads to missed opportunities for doctors to help patients manage their weight and can result in patients not receiving the care they need. It also notes that the COVID-19 pandemic has only magnified the need for medical professionals to be equipped to address obesity, as people with obesity are at higher risk for severe illness from the virus.Read More
Meet Mel Idroos, PGDip in Lifestyle Medicine (Obesity Care) graduate!
Having completed one of our CPD Short Courses in 2015, Mel decided to expand upon her new knowledge base by taking the plunge and beginning her postgraduate studies with the College of Contemporary Health (CCH).
Beginning in September of 2020, with the ambitions of deepening her knowledge of obesity and enhancing her clinical practice, Mel graduated from CCH in September of 2022 with a Postgraduate Diploma (PGDip) in Lifestyle Medicine (Obesity Care) with Merit.
Since her graduation, Mel has already begun to put what she’s learned into practice developing and delivering Tier 2 adult weight management services, making a meaningful impact in the lives of her patients with obesity.
Here we have interviewed Mel about the impact she is making with her Postgraduate Diploma from CCH:
Q: Hi, Mel! Where do you work at the moment?
A: I work for a Community Interest Company. We are contracted by the local county council to deliver a Tier 2 adult weight management service.
Q: What profession do you work in?
A: I work in the Well-being directorate. As well as adult weight management we deliver a range of health and well-being services to the local population.
Q: Who are some of the patients you assist on a day-to-day basis?
A: We see a wide range of clients in our weight management service. Almost all have a long-term condition associated with excess weight and have tried multiple approaches to lose weight over many years.
Q: What percentage of your patients have overweight or obesity?
A: All clients who come to the service, either as a self-referral or through an HCP referral, have overweight or obesity. The average referral BMI is 36.
Q: What inspired you to study Lifestyle Medicine (obesity care)?
A: I wanted to deepen my knowledge of obesity and enhance my clinical practice as well as cascading what I have learnt to our team of practitioners.
Q: Why did you choose CCH?
A: Working full-time I was attracted to the flexibility of CCH’s online learning. I particularly enjoyed the variety of module options offered. Paediatric Obesity’ and ‘Obesity and Reproductive Health’ were 2 modules that offered entirely new areas of study for me
Q: How did gaining your PGDip at CCH enhance the care that you provide to your patients?
A: I used the information gained through studying the PGDip to enhance and augment our core programme ‘My Weight Matters’. I was able to write new content for the course covering topics not previously included. Sleep, stress, mindful eating practices and social support are just some of the information I was able to add. The course’s behaviour change and psychological aspects were valuable in enhancing the quality of our 1-1 and group interventions.
Q: What has changed most in your practice since starting your studies?
A: The course has given me more confidence to answer those tricky and complex questions that clients often ask!
Q: What is one of the biggest takeaways you gained from your PGDip as a health professional?
A: The topic of weight stigma really struck a chord with me. I have an idea for a piece of work in this area and hope to implement this across our service very soon.
Q: Would you encourage other health professionals to pursue a PGDip with CCH?
A: I would absolutely encourage other health professionals to pursue this course. Much of what I have learnt I have already put into practice.
Q: What is the main reason you would recommend CCH courses to your colleagues?
A: I would recommend this course due to the high-quality materials offered to engage with, and the diversity of topics covered. The tutor support is excellent. The online, flexible approach was also highly-valuable to me.
The College of Contemporary Health, with the University of Central Lancashire Medical School, offers the first, and only, fully online postgraduate qualifications (PGCert/PGDip/MSc) in Lifestyle Medicine (Obesity Care) not just for UK based students, but for students across the world.
We offer 3 student intakes per year starting in January, May, and September.
Click here to apply: Apply for a Postgraduate Qualification in Lifestyle Medicine (Obesity Care).Read More
1. What inspired you to study obesity care and management?
I work as part of a team in Bristol that supports childhood cancer survivor’s long term after the end of their treatment. We as a team perform a holistic needs assessment each time they attend, and promoting healthy lifestyle routines are central to our discussions. I often support patients wanting to make healthy changes hence my decision to do further study in this area with a particular focus on obesity care as this is something I frequently help patients with.
2. Were there any obstacles to studying with CCH? What were the decisive factors that made you feel that CCH was the right choice?
The only obstacle I encountered through my studies was obtaining funding for each module. I was particularly interested to study with CCH as their programme was flexible and based on distance learning which suited me best.
3. What have you enjoyed the most while studying your MSc in Obesity Care and Management? Why exactly an MSc?
I particularly enjoyed the networking opportunities. With distance learning, you can meet other health care professionals working globally and I found it interesting to share practice. I have always enjoyed further academic work alongside my job, and after a few modules with CCH, I decided that getting the full MSc would be beneficial to my learning and practice with patients. I now have a solid foundation of evidence-based learning in obesity care so I now know that the work I am doing with patients is valid.
4. What has changed most in your practice since starting your studies?
Since my learning at CCH I have broadened my knowledge and expertise in obesity care and management and I am more confident in my work with patients. I have also kept in contact with other professionals I met on the course and we are still able to share skills and practice which is great.
5. What exceeded your expectations while studying at CCH?
During my studies, I was surprised with how I managed to stay motivated and I think the course content and activities were a big part of this. Each week there was a range of activities to get on with and these utilised many platforms such as powerpoint presentations, podcasts, journals, and videos.
6. What is the main reason you would recommend CCH and their Obesity Care and Management courses to your colleagues?
I would recommend courses with CCH for the opportunity to network with other professionals and also for the flexibility available for learning. The content is accessible around the clock so busy health care professionals can complete their learning when it’s convenient for them. The content is so varied and is based on the most up to date evidence-based material. I thoroughly enjoyed my studies and would recommend the MSc for any health care professionals working within public health and health promotion.
Begin your Postgraduate Certificate in Obesity Care and Management!
Apply here: https://www.contemporaryhealth.co.uk/apply/