Anti-Obesity Strategy: Blame Game VS. Sensible Actions

Comment on Obesity and COVID-19: Blame isn’t a strategy. The Lancet Diabetes & Endecronology. Published: 7 Aug 2020.

Author: Dr Werd Al-Najim

Date: 12 Augest 2020

Obesity is a deep-rooted disease, the UK anti-obesity strategy to tackle this disease is very much needed but it cannot be done by blaming patients. The government has a hand in allowing obesity to reach its current rate by rejecting or ignoring all the previous calls to take earlier action. We cannot blame the patient for having type 2 diabetes or cancer, why do some people think it is OK to blame patients with obesity? The only way forward to tackle this disease is by:

1-developing strategies to reduce environmental obesity from an early age.

2-parallel to point 1, increasing awareness of obesity treatments. Most people still think that obesity can be treated by simply walking/cycling for half an hour a day and starving themselves. This needs to change to allow people to seek the correct treatment as early as possible during the development of the disease.

3-making all obesity treatments affordable for the general public, especially when knowing obesity is more prevalent in the lower socioeconomic groups. There is no point in providing inaccessible NHS (HSE in Ireland) dietary counselling or super-expensive private dietary counselling, marketing extremely expensive (effective) drugs, or restricting access to effective operations until the disease is in its advanced stage.

Trying to tackle the obesity pandemic during COVID-19 using the blame game is not going to make people lose weight. We need solid, science-based, and effective anti-obesity strategy.

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