Scotland has one of the highest levels of obesity in the world. In 2014, 65% of adults aged 16 and over were overweight, including 28% who were obese. With such damming statistics we should be looking to our healthcare settings to be leading examples of healthy lifestyles.
However, we know that rates of overweight and obesity among nurses in Scotland are high at 69%, higher than in other healthcare professionals (51%). If NHS Scotland is to be a credible influence in addressing the obesity crisis, it must take the lead with healthy workplace practices.
Environments have a significant effect on diet, physical activity and obesity. Healthcare settings should be exemplary in promoting healthy lifestyles and the presence of outlets selling energy dense food and drink sends an inconsistent message to patients, staff and the community. The current changes to retail settings in healthcare in Scotland should change that, so let’s make that the start of a journey to excellence.
What could be done?
With such high levels of obesity and overweight in Scotland, NHS Scotland must seize the opportunity to effect behaviour change in healthcare staff, and healthcare staff must do likewise to effect behaviour change in patients.
There are lots of innovative and exciting ways to encourage healthy lifestyles and Twitter was recently filled with the August stories of active healthcare professionals undertaking the #WeActiveChallenge.
It’s time to practise healthy lifestyles as well as preaching about them. Read our full briefing on Obesity and NHS Scotland Staff at:
This article was originally published in The SCPN Newsletter Volume 7, Issue 4. Read the digital newsletter below using Issuu, or feel free to download the PDF.View the PDF