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06-28-2016 | Obesity | Review | Article

Obesity Treatment in the UK Health System

Current Obesity Reports

Authors: Matthew S. Capehorn, David W. Haslam, Richard Welbourn

Publisher: Springer US


In the UK, as in most other countries in the world, levels of obesity are increasing. According to the Kinsey report, obesity has the second largest public health impact after smoking, and it is inextricably linked to physical inactivity. Since the UK Health and Social Care Act reforms of 2012, there has been a significant restructuring of the National Health Service (NHS). As a consequence, NHS England and the Department of Health have issued new policy guidelines regarding the commissioning of obesity treatment. A 4-tier model of care is now widely accepted and ranges from primary activity, through community weight management and specialist weight management for severe and complex obesity, to bariatric surgery. However, although there are clear care pathways and clinical guidelines for evidence-based practice, there remains no single stakeholder willing to take overall responsibility for obesity care. There is a lack of provision of adequate services characterised by a noticeable ‘postcode lottery’, and little political will to change the obesogenic environment.

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