Lorraine Tulloch, Programme Lead – Obesity Action Scotland, Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Glasgow
This is the question we posed at a meeting of interested parties in April. Attendees included academics and obesity researchers, charities such as British Heart Foundation and Diabetes Scotland, NHS, NHS Health Scotland, Directors of Public Health, Food Standards Scotland, Royal College of Physicians of Edinburgh, Obesity Action Scotland and other experts.
Obesity is one of the biggest public health threats we face in Scotland. The scale of the problem has reached crisis and its effects are felt across all areas of our society and economy. Yet, despite the best efforts of many, overall obesity levels continue to rise.
The event was organised to consider pooling skills and expertise to tackle obesity, to look for examples of success in other areas of public health and to explore how others have achieved their goals and to seek out new approaches.
The obvious starting point is the long-running and hugely successful work on tobacco control in Scotland. In 2016, Scotland celebrates 10 years of being smoke-free in public places. This is a tremendous success and is, in large part, down to the success of collaborations, including the work co-ordinated by ASH Scotland.
During discussions, attendees acknowledged existing approaches and actions tackling obesity in Scotland. They pointed to numerous community and local government initiatives focusing on diet, physical activity and healthy lifestyle, obesity research, the bold step of a sugar tax, as well as strong support for creating an obesity alliance in Scotland.
Groups of attendees also explored what needed to be stopped, changed or improved to tackle obesity effectively in Scotland and the event indicated strong support for an alliance with a clear vision and focus which would create one strong voice to address the obesity problem in Scotland more effectively.
Since the initial meeting, Obesity Action Scotland has begun the process of establishing a core planning group to lead the development of the alliance and define its priorities.
Progress on the creation of the Alliance will be communicated via the Obesity Action Scotland website and through the monthly Obesity Action Scotland e-newsletter.
Visit our website www.obesityactionscotland.org, find us on Twitter: @obesityactionsc and to sign up to our newsletter, send an email entitled ‘Newsletter’ and send your name and organisation to email@example.com.
This article was originally published in The SCPN Newsletter Volume 7, Issue 3. Read the newsletter below using Issuu, or feel free to download the PDF…View the PDF