The All-Party Parliamentary Group on Obesity launched its inquiry findings today at an official event in Parliament. The British Liver Trust had submitted evidence to the inquiry that informed the report. We also raised awareness at the launch event of the link between obesity and liver disease.
Commenting on the report, Vanessa Hebditch, Director of Communications and Policy said “Non-alcohol related fatty liver disease is likely to overtake alcohol as the leading cause of liver disease in the next few years. Liver disease is also set to overtake heart disease as the leading cause of premature death. We need a national obesity strategy that focussed on both prevention and treatment as well as a cost benefit analysis of what works and what doesn’t.. We know anecdotally from listening to patients that if fatty liver disease is diagnosed early, finding out can act as an incentive to lose weight and reverse the effects of the condition.”
Key findings of the report:
- 88% of people with obesity who took part in the survey have been stigmatised, criticised or abused as a result of their obesity.
- 94% of all respondents believe that there is not enough understanding about the causes of obesity amongst the public, politicians and other stakeholders.
- 42% of people with obesity did not feel comfortable talking to their GP about their obesity.
- More than one third of people with obesity who completed the survey stated that they have not accessed any lifestyle or prevention services.
The report makes a number of recommendations, including:
- A national obesity strategy for both adult and childhood obesity should be developed and implemented by the Government, with input from key stakeholders. This should look to strengthen existing services and replicate best practice across the country.
- Obesity/weight management training should be introduced into medical school syllabuses to ensure GPs and other healthcare practitioners feel able and comfortable to raise and discuss a person’s weight, without any stigma or discrimination.
- The Government should implement a 9pm watershed on advertising of food and drinks high in fat, sugar and salt to protect children during family viewing time.
- The Government should lead or support efforts by the clinical community to investigate whether obesity should be classified as a disease in the UK, and what this would mean for the NHS and other services.
- The Government should commission or support the development of a thorough, peer-reviewed cost benefit analysis of earlier intervention and treatment of people with obesity.
You can read the full report APPG on Obesity Report 2018