The couch potato narrative drains the energy out of people living with obesity and people who are treating obesity. You need to treat it in a holistic way”.
New clinical practice guidelines for the treatment of obesity for adults are being launched, which will mean obesity will no longer be solely defined by weight in recognising that it is a disease defined by many factors.HSE Clinical Lead for Obesity and Consultant Endocrinologist Prof Donal O’Shea said that the guidelines were a turning point, and that patients would now have access to therapies such as medical nutrition, physical activity and physical rehabilitation, psychological interventions, pharmacotherapy and bariatric surgery.
Obesity will be put on the same footing as diabetes, heart disease and chronic lung disease within general practices.He said the food and drinks industry are “the drivers of obesity” and that due to the stigma attached with obesity, patients tend to “self-blame” Chairperson of the ICPO Susie Birney said that before now, obesity has incorrectly been seen as the result of poor personal decisions, including among health professionals.
“We need a programme of education among healthcare professionals, and the public, to eliminate bias and stigma about obesity.”Dr Michael Crotty, a GP specialising in obesity, said that for many people their weight is not in their control as much as they would like to think.Speaking on RTÉ’s Morning Ireland he said obesity is not based on size or body mass index (BMI).”We’re talking about excess or a typical fatty tissue that’s impairing health. It’s based on the effect that weight is having on somebody’s health and if somebody’s health is being affected, then this is a medical issue and there are treatments available”.Dr Crotty said there should always be a focus on healthy eating and activity, but “telling somebody who’s got an issue to simply eat less and move more for the rest of their life is like telling somebody with depression to cheer up”.