What Obesity Policies Do We Need?

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Earlier this week, I presented at a high-level UK Health Policy Workshop on how I would shape policies to deal with the obesity issue.

My suggestions can essentially be summarised as follows:

  1. All relevant policies need to acknowledge that obesity management requires the same approach as any other chronic disease. 
  2. The biological nature of the body’s defense against weight loss dictates the need for treatments that address the biology and don’t just rely on education, motivation, and willpower. 
  3. Managing obesity needs to become first-line treatment for all patients presenting with any obesity related comorbidity.
  4. Obesity management can be funded by progressively diverting funds from treating obesity complication and comorbidities to treating obesity itself.
  5. Basic competencies in obesity management need to be a mandatory requirement in all medical licensing exams. 

Whether or not these suggestions find their way into health policies in the UK or elsewehere remains to be seen, but I certainly see no alternative to implementing such policies if we are ever to make a dent in the obesity crisis that is clearly affecting every health care system around the world. 

@DrSharma, MD
Berlin, D

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