Health staff to set a super-slim example

Obesity is a growing problem.
Obesity is a growing problem.
  • Plans to encourage thousands of NHS staff to go on a diet
  • Initiative aims to set example to others
  • NHS chief executive says staff need to “practise what we preach”
  • Around three per cent of morbidly obese people develop type 2 diabetes each year

DOCTORS and nurses are being urged to make a fat-fighting example of themselves.

In an attempt to tackle the borough’s obesity epidemic, Simon Stevens, NHS chief executive, stated staff need to “practise what we preach” and slim down themselves first.

I think it is a fantastic proposal to offer free slimming world groups to health professions including doctors and nurses

Michelle Cusick - Hindley Slimming World Consultant

Last week he outlined plans to encourage thousands of NHS staff to go on a diet.

The most recent local data also shows that 23 people in the borough were referred for bariatric surgery last year at an estimated cost to the local NHS budget of approximately £175,000.

The scheme may see healthcare workers being offered Slimming World Classes.

And Hindley Slimming World Consultant Michelle Cusick has welcomed the new initiative and hopes it will set a good example to others.

She said: “I think it is a fantastic proposal to offer free slimming world groups to health professions including doctors and nurses.

“Slimming world are the number one weight loss organisation and we work closely with college of midwifery, the diabetes society and also Free 2 Go which is aimed at children aged 11 to 15.

“We already run a scheme called Lose Weight Feel Great in Wigan that offers funded Slimming World and exercise sessions that GPs and practice nurses can refer patients to help change eating habits and become more active - saving NHS billions and have helped thousands of local people to change their lifestyles.”

A spokesman for NHS Wigan Borough CCG said: “Along with our NHS and Public Health partners we support initiatives that help people overcome obesity as it can increase your chances of developing type 2 diabetes; coronary heart disease, stroke and some cancers, such as breast cancer and bowel cancer. Our modern lifestyles sometimes make it easy to eat excessive amounts of cheap, high-calorie food; drink sugar laden liquids and spend a lot of time sitting at desks, sofas or cars.”

Around three per cent of morbidly obese people develop type 2 diabetes each year, however, surgery reduced the figure to around 0.5 per cent, which is the background figure for the whole population.

Prof Kate Ardern, Wigan Council’s Director of Public Health, added: “Obesity in the UK is rising at an alarming rate and it’s important that the people of Wigan do their part to reduce this crisis.”

There are a number of health programmes around the borough available to those looking to lose weight. These include Lose Weight Feel Great programme.