8. May 2012 11:29
NICE has issued draft public health guidance to tackle the ever-increasing problem of obesity in England using a community-wide approach.
Draft recommendations advise that activities should be integrated within wider strategies, communities be involved to gather thoughts on obesity, and that private healthcare providers be used to implement local programmes.
Professor Mike Kelly, Director of the Centre for Public Health Excellence at NICE, said the recommendations “emphasise the importance” of working with local people to tackle obesity.
The health regulator estimates that the long term consequences of obesity cost the NHS around £5.1 billion each year.
Obesity increases the risk of diabetes, heart disease and certain cancers. Currently, more than a quarter of adult population are classed as obese.
Levels of obesity are rising in England and up to 60% of men, half of women and a quarter of children could be classed as obese by 2050.
NICE aims to tackle the problem by using an integrated community approach where local government and regional bodies and networks partner to plan and implement local strategies.
The new guidance is now open for consultation with NICE welcoming comments until 6 June.