Should GPs take on the takeaways?

18th February 2012 by Judith Harvey

Should GPs take on the takeaways?

You don’t need scales and height-weight charts to realise that people are fatter than they used to be. It’s clear that obesity is already damaging patients, and that in years to come it will take a huge toll on the nation’s health.

As GPs we have always tackled our patients’ obesity. Now we are going to be commissioning. What obesity services should we commission?

Homo sapiens evolved to exploit any opportunity to eat. Humans are not programmed to exercise restraint. But now food is abundant, our lives don’t demand physical exertion, and restraint is out of fashion. So is drudgery. The food industry has responded to provide immediate gratification and foster a culture of grazing and snacking at all hours – and not on raw carrots.

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