Obesity survey: GPs see four or more obese patients daily

Obesity survey: GPs see four or more obese patients daily
Marsden Weighing Group (UK) - A survey has revealed that 66% of GPs and pharmacies see more than four obese patients per day - despite a third of patients understanding the health risks of being overweight.

And as many as 40% of all patients seen by doctors are clinically overweight.

The survey, conducted by weighing scales manufacturer Marsden, asked 6000 GPs and pharmacies for their thoughts on how the obesity crisis is affecting them and their patients.

The research was carried out to mark World Obesity Day, and found that diabetes is the biggest health issue caused by obesity, according to 50% of respondents. Findings also show that GPs and pharmacies view processed food, advertising and a lack of exercise as the main causes of the obesity epidemic.

According to the NHS, The UK currently has the highest rate of obesity in Western Europe, with 24.9% of the population affected. This rate has trebled in the last 30 years and the NHS suggests it could affect more than half of the UK by 2050.

A report by the Government in August encouraged GPs to weigh patients ‘by default’ to help reduce the number of obese and overweight patients. The UK’s obesity crisis is currently costing the NHS more than £5bn per year, according to the Daily Telegraph.

Neil Rowland-Hall of Willingham Pharmacy, Cambridge said: “Patients do not take responsibility for their own health, or that of their partners or children.

“They (the patients) must be aware of the health risks associated with obesity, but choose not to do much about it.”

David Smith, Marketing Manager at Marsden, added: “The results of this survey strengthen views that obesity is one of the greatest health risks currently facing the NHS.

“At Marsden we are keen to make more people aware of this growing epidemic. We’ve also recently launched an affordable medical scale to allow GPs to obtain more accurate weight readings, so they can provide the most appropriate advice to patients.”

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