Childhood obesity 'ignored' by parents and GPs

27 July 2011

A study from the University of Bristol's School of Social and Community Medicine has found that even when parents have been given the chance to discuss their child's weight problem, many fail to do so, with GPs also reluctant to raise the topic.

Led by Dr Jonathan Banks, the research - published today (July 27th) in the British Journal of General Practice - highlights the problem of increased childhood obesity amidst a rise among the UK population of drastic weight loss surgery such as gastric balloon treatments.

The findings illustrate that less than one in six families engaged in any weight-related conversation with doctors while fewer than one in 11 were referred by GPs to any further service for the problem.

"This study shows that there is an accompanying need to explore how to engage parents, children and primary healthcare professionals in recognising obesity," said Dr Banks.

His comments come as the National Obesity Forum responded to findings in the Postgraduate Medical Journal highlighting inadequate provisions in NHS primary care for obese patients.

"We live in an environment that promotes obesity," said Dr David Haslam, a GP and chair of the forum.

Posted by Edward Bartel.

1 Banks, Jonathan et al. "Barriers engaging families and GPs in childhood weight management strategies". British Journal of Medical Practice. Wednesday July 27th 2011.

2 Booth, C M A, et al. "Patient safety incidents associated with obesity: a review of reports to the National Patient Safety Agency and recommendations for hospital practice". Postgraduate Medical Journal. Monday July 25th 2011.

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