Obesity Charity Launches First Awareness Week
National Obesity Week, (NOW!)is an initiative to raise awareness of personal weight status. While the obesity epidemic increases, research* has highlighted that nearly half of adults have an inaccurate picture of their own weight.
Dr David Haslam, National Obesity Forum (NOF) Chairman and Clinical Director explains:
"We recognise that before an individual can choose to make changes to their lifestyle, they must first really know if they have a weight problem. Our aim is to find and support the half of the population that believe that their weight 'is about right', but are in danger of developing serious health problems or perhaps are already not enjoying the benefits of good health. Clinically, they are not 'about right' but are actually overweight or obese."
While the concept of NOW! was initially launched at the NOF annual conference late last year, this announcement follows a call to create an annual European obesity day. Magor Csibi, a member of the European Parliament's Environment, Public health and Food Safety Committee believes that an obesity day would help raise awareness in European growing obese and overweight citizens and involve them in finding solutions to their problem. He criticised the European Commission for not being as committed to tackling the problem as they should be.
Dr Haslam said: "We are working in collaboration with European Obesity Day and as UK-based charity, there is also a desperate need to really bring this message home."
He concluded: "Even losing just a small amount of weight can make a vast difference and prevent problems such as diabetes and heart disease in the future."
NOW! runs from 2nd to 8th November and while plans are well under way, companies and charities wishing to be involved should visit the NOW! section of the website (www.nof.uk.com) to register interest as there are many sponsorship opportunities, initiatives to support and ways to become involved.
The National Obesity Forum (NOF) was established by medical practitioners in May 2000 to raise awareness of the growing health impact that being overweight or obese was having on patients and the National Health Service (NHS).
The growing prevalence of obesity and its legacy of disease, particularly type II diabetes and heart disease and premature death demands that health care professionals move forward with urgency to prioritise the way in which weight management is delivered.
The NOF is particularly concerned with the lack of focus on prevention and structured management of overweight and obese individuals in primary care and the knock-on effects this has on society. Obesity, as a disease, and as a social-economic issue, has widespread ramifications, not just for the health service, but also for industry, education and government.
(*Healthy Weight, Healthy Lives; Consumer Insight Summary pg 12)
National Obesity Forum
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