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Education key to tackling obesity - physicians

Thursday October 11th, 2018

The government needs to put investment into schools to tackle the obesity epidemic, senior physicians say today.

The call came for World Obesity Day today.

Improved teaching would embed ideas of healthy eating and healthy lifestyles in the minds of children, according to the Royal College of Physicians of Edinburgh.

It warned that people need to learn that “fads” and short-term changes are not the answer – but that healthy choices need to be part of every day life.

College fellow Dr Mark Kroese said: “By intervening earlier, we can reduce occurrences of medical problems and give children in particular a better chance of maintaining a healthy weight, as they progress to adulthood.

“The College wants more government investment in schools to help children learn about healthy eating and lifestyle habits, and to enable them access to their five-a-day of fruit and vegetables.”

College president Professor Derek Bell said: “Many of the health problems associated with obesity can be avoided altogether. Government must work closely with schools, food agencies and supermarkets to ensure that healthy choices are available from early age to adulthood.

“But doctors must also consider their approach to obesity too, being mindful that we must lead by example.”

• The World Obesity Federation used the day to call for an end to “weight discrimination,” launching the hashtag #endweightstigma.

An international survey found the highest levels of discrimination in South Africa, Hong Kong and Italy.

Detailed studies in Brazil, South Africa and the UK found reports of discrimination in health settings, clothes shops and gyms.

World Health Organisation director-general Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said: “Everyone has the right to a healthy life in a world where healthy choices are easy to make. Sadly in our modern world, consuming a healthy diet and enjoying an active lifestyle is often hard.

“For many people, this translates to obesity and ill health.”

Tags: Diet & Food | Fitness | UK News

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