A survey by World Cancer Research Fund (WCRF) has revealed an overwhelming number of health professionals want an obesity specialist in every GP practice to help tackle the obesity problem. A massive 86% of those asked said they backed the move in a bid to help more people to manage their weight.
Nearly all those questioned (96%) think there needs to be a standardised national obesity treatment programme, based on schemes that have been proven to work.
The questionnaire was carried out as part of the charity's Cancer Prevention Week (May 21–27), which aims to highlight the importance of a healthy diet and lifestyle in the fight against cancer.
Dr Greg Martin, science and research department manager at WCRF, said: "Although this survey is just a snapshot of health professionals' views, it is another indicator of how serious the obesity problem is in the UK. They clearly believe that much more needs to be done to tackle the crisis."
Despite the large amount of information available to guide people on how to live a healthy lifestyle, obesity has trebled in the last 20 years. It is estimated that treating it costs the NHS £7bn per year.
Motivation and habit are the main reasons as to why people fail to do this in practice, according to the poll. More than 60% of the health professionals questioned believe that people do not see the risk to their health from being obese or overweight.