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article imageNHS anti-obesity campaign gears up

By Simon Crompton     Dec 29, 2014 in Health
In an effort to prevent the threat of diabetes, the NHS has announced a new program of “proper support” for thousands of Britons.
The new program will task doctors with identifying overweight patients and encourage companies to reward weight loss among employees with prizes. The impetus of the new program is the health statistics showing Britain is the second-fattest country in Europe. Hungary is the fattest in the European Commission obesity rating.
Simon Stevens, chief executive of the National Health Service (NHS) said to the Guardian, “The ghost of Christmases past reminds us that 20 years ago we didn’t have these problems as a nation. The ghost of Christmases future tells us that if we get our act together – as the NHS, as parents, as schools, the food industry – we can get back in shape.”
Stevens continued by saying that obesity is not something that should be accepted, in spite of the recent judgment by the European court of justice that said that obesity was a disability.
“Rather than recent daft judgments by the European court practically pretending that obesity is inevitable, in England in 2015 we’re going to start proving that it isn’t,” said Stevens.
Stevens said that the NHS will promote a range of tacitcs to help deal with the problem of obesity, including recommending special deits and body weight exercises for patients.
More than three million Britons have been diagnosed with diabetes and the cost of treating these people runs NHS around £10 billion per year. The majority of diabetics in the UK have type 2 diabetes which is linked to obesity. Stevens added that for those at risk of getting the disease, a weight loss of 5 percent to 7 percent of their body weight could cut the chances of getting the disease by 60 percent.
“If this was a pill we’d be popping it – instead it’s a well-designed programme of exercise, eating well and making smart health choices, and we’re going to start making it available free on the NHS,” Stevens continued.
The programme is expected to roll out in January and will include support for people who need a better diet and more exercise. The NHS will work with Diabetes UK, Public Health England and politicians to foster the first national programme in the UK.
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