Having ‘healthier weight conversations’ with patients

Published: 26 September 2019 Ezine

Public Health England (PHE) has published a consensus statement to support healthcare professionals and encourage them to have conversations with patients and families about reducing their weight to healthier levels.

Childhood obesity is a widespread problem in England, says PHE, and a shared commitment has been agreed with collaborating partners, including the SCoR, to support radiographers and other AHPs.

The statement describes the intent to work together to maximise support for population behaviour change and includes a set of principles which outline how professional organisations can support the public health workforce to reduce obesity. The government ambition is to halve childhood obesity rates by 2030.

Research shows an intergenerational effect with higher risks for children whose parents are above a healthy weight. Babies born to obese women have a higher risk of fetal death, stillbirth, congenital abnormality, shoulder dystocia, macrosomia, and are more likely to themselves become obese.

Excessive weight in adults increases the risk of developing conditions including type 2 diabetes, cancers and increases the likelihood of premature death. The growth in childhood obesity suggests that today’s children will have a shorter life expectancy than their parents .

PHE aims to:

  • Raise workforce confidence in having healthier weight conversations by upskilling and supporting professionals
  • Increase awareness through the promotion of evidence-based resources

Supporting professionals to have healthier weight conversations