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NHD CPD eArticle NETWORK HEALTH DIGEST

Volume 8.05 - 29th March 2018

OBESITY UPDATE: WHERE ARE WE NOW? Emma Berry Associate Nutritionist, Freelance Emma is working in NHS Research and Development and is a freelance nutrition writer.

The obesity epidemic has been well documented for many years. The World Health Organisation’s (WHO) report documenting the substantial rise in obesity and setting in place a strategy for prevention, was published almost two decades ago.1 This article looks to review the differences in the levels of obesity found within the UK since the report and discusses the most recent policies in place to tackle obesity. The WHO report1 outlined that the level of obesity was rising at a staggering rate. This rise in level of overweight and obese individuals has also seen an increase in related health issues, such as cardiovascular diseases and various forms of cancer. The WHO report put forward a strategy for preventing a further rise in obesity levels and managing the current high levels found globally. Obesity has been defined as a high level of adipose tissue which has a negative impact on an individual’s health. There are many ways to determine obesity of an individual or population, these include body mass index (BMI kg/m2), skinfold measurements, waist circumference and waist:hip ratio, many of which are further broken down into various obesity classifications.1 Whilst the definition of obesity has not changed drastically over time, the ways in which adipose tissue can be measured have become more advanced. Determining body composition is now possible through the use of

methods such as Air-DisplacementPlethysmography, Dual-Energy X-ray Absorptiometry, Bioelectrical impedance analysis and more.2,3 Whilst these methods are not used for population measures of obesity but are generally used for academic studies, it is important to note how advanced technology has become and how these can increase the precision of body composition measures. The most common way of determining obesity at a population level, is through using BMI (kg/m2). Being defined as clinically obese is when an adult individual’s BMI is over 30kg/m2.4 When the WHO report was released in 2000, 21.5% of adult men and 21.8% of adult women were classified as obese in England.5 In Scotland, 22% of adult men and 26% of adult women were found to be obese in 2003.6 The most recent figures have demonstrated that obesity rates have increased, with 27% of men and women now classified as obese.4 In Scotland, obesity is also rising steadily

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NHD CPD eArticle

Volume 8.05 - 29th March 2018

Although the adult level of obesity looks to still be increasing, childhood obesity seems to be holding steady. with 29% of men and women now classified as obese, based on findings of the 2016 Scottish Health Survey.7 Although the adult level of obesity looks to still be increasing, childhood obesity seems to be holding steady. In England, 9% of children in Reception year were classified as at risk of being obese in 2015/2016, compared to 10% in 2006/2007. 20% of children in Year 6 were at risk of being obese in 2015/16, which is slightly higher than the 17% who were identified as being ‘at risk’ in 2006/07. However, it is believed that this figures from 2006/2007 were underestimated due to a poor level of participation.8 In Scotland, childhood obesity has remained around the same level for the last decade. In 2015/16, 10% of children in Scotland's Primary 1 school year were at risk of obesity, with the same figure having been recorded in 2006/07.9 Unfortunately, there are no recent statistics for older children in Scotland alone that would allow us to determine if this age group is also remaining steady for obesity figures. However, overall for ages 2-15 in Scotland, the percentage of children at risk of obesity is 14%, which is the lowest recorded figure since 1998.7 FUTURE PLANS TO TACKLE OBESITY

In 2016, the UK government published guidance on how they plan to table and reduce childhood obesity.10 This guidance outlines their plans over the coming years to make a long-

term sustainable change through engaging individuals, food and drink industries and communities to become healthier. Their action plan includes encouraging industry reformulation to reduce the sugar content in all foods and drinks by 20%, by means of the sugar sweetened beverage tax. They will also be recommitting to the Healthy Start Scheme to ensure that all families with low income have access to nutritious food. Food and drink industries are also being encouraged to develop new, healthier products for consumption and to work with the UK Government to make nutrient labels easier to understand for individuals. They are also aiming to help healthcare professionals in encouraging healthy lifestyles with family and children. The Department of Health will also be working with Public Health England to ensure that healthy options will be made easily available in all public sector locations. Furthermore, the UK Government will be looking to repeat the success of the Change4life Sugar Smart app by encouraging the development of new technology which could encourage healthier decisions in individuals. In so doing, they hope that the development of this new technology will produce innovative solutions for tackling childhood obesity. They have outlined a number of aims which specifically target primary schools. These include encouraging all children to do 60 minutes of physical activity every day, whilst aiming to improve sport and activity

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NHD CPD eArticle

Volume 8.05 - 29th March 2018

Figure 1: Tiers of weight management for clinical management and treatment12

programmes in schools. They will also be looking to create a healthy rating scheme for primary schools and to make school food healthier. As well targeting children in primary schools, they are looking to support children in early years’ settings in receiving healthy food through developing revised menus and encouraging these children to meet the physical activity guidelines through an update of the Early Years Foundation Stage Framework. On the 26th of October 2017, the Scottish Government opened a consultation on the proposed actions laid out in the consultation document A Healthier Future - Action and Ambitions on Diet, Activity and Healthy Weight.11 The document outlined a range of proposed actions which could be taken to improve the level of obesity in Scotland. These proposals include limiting the marketing and advertisement of unhealthy foods, supporting preventative measures for families, encouraging the reformulation of food and drinks and working with various groups to encourage local support and create more opportunities for healthy lifestyles. The consultation allowed individuals to comment on the proposed plans and suggest new ideas

to help encourage an innovative plan to tackle the obesity problem. This consultation closed at the end of January and results will be published in a report. CLINICAL TREATMENT FOR OBESITY

Although many of the new UK policies outlined look to encourage families and children to pursue healthier lifestyles. The UK adult level of obesity is still seen to be increasing. One method of helping individuals to reduce their body weight is through bariatric surgery.4 The UK currently has a four-tier system in place to treat clinical obesity (shown in Figure 1 overleaf). Bariatric surgery is the final tier, taken when all other options have not been successful.12 There are various different types of bariatric surgery performed within the UK, the most commonly of which being gastric band, gastric bypass and sleeve gastrectomy.13 The number of individuals who have undergone this procedure has steadily increased in recent years. In 2006-2007, 1,951 bariatric procedures took place in England, which rose to 6,384 procedures in 2013/14. However, the figure in 2014/15 appeared to drop slightly to 6,032.4 Although this drop

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NHD CPD eArticle suggests that there is a reduced number of individuals undergoing bariatric procedures, there may be various factors for this; the most recent figures have not been released to determine if there has been a continuation in this trend. Although these treatments have grown in popularity over the last decade, there are often long-term side effects due to the patient’s reduced ability to consume a normal diet. Often these individuals can suffer from various nutritional deficiencies and complications, such as Dumping Syndrome.14 Nutritional deficiencies often include iron, thiamine, vitamin E and copper, but many others can also appear. Nutritional deficiencies which present in post-operative care often depend on the type of surgery performed.14 As the number of people within the UK classified as morbidly obese (BMI of 40 and above) increases, there is a chance that requirement for these procedures could increase further.4 Therefore, it is important to ensure that these individuals can remain healthy after undergoing bariatric procedures, to reduce the

Volume 8.05 - 29th March 2018

risks of complications and to avoid adding additional costs to the already cash-strapped NHS. Further research is required to ensure that the post-operative care is optimal. CONCLUSION

Obesity is still a serious problem within the UK. Although the obesity epidemic has been documented for many years, the level of adult obesity is still growing within both Scotland and England. However, improvement is starting to be seen in the level of childhood obesity. Future policies look set to attempt to further reduce the obesity levels, targeting mainly children and families, whilst further encouraging a healthy environment for everyone. However, whilst the encouragement of healthier lifestyles may help to reduce the level of obesity seen within the population, the use of bariatric surgery may become more popular as a treatment for individuals. Although this could help many individuals, the long-term effects and bariatric diet requires further research to ensure these individuals remain healthy after surgery.

References 1 World Health Organisation. Obesity: Preventing and Managing the Global Epidemic. Tech Rep Ser 894. World Health Organisation: Geneva, 2000. Available at: www.who.int/nutrition/publications/obesity/WHO_TRS_894/en/ (accessed: 13th December 2017) 2 Marks P, Van Meel M, Robinson J and Robinson CL. Body composition differences by assessment methods such as DEXA, hydrostatic, bio-impedance, and Skin fold. International Journal of Exercise Science. 2015. 8(3). Available at: https://digitalcommons.wku.edu/ijesab/vol8/ iss3/39 (accessed: 13th December 2017) 3 Gibby JT, Njeru DK, Cvetko ST, Heiny EL, Creer AR and Gibby WA. Whole-Body Computed Tomography-Based Body Mass and Body Fat Quantification: A Comparison to Hydrostatic Weighting and Air Displacement Plethysmography. Journal of Computer Assisted Tomography. 2017, 41(2): 302-308 4 Baker C. Obesity Statistics. Briefing Paper. Number 3336, 2017. UK Parliament. House of Commons Library. Available at: researchbriefings. files.parliament.uk/documents/SN03336/SN03336.pdf (accessed 4th December 2017) 5 Zaninotto P, Head J, Stamatakis E, Wardle H and Mindell J. Trends in obesity among adults in England from 1993 to 2004 by age and social class projections of prevalence to 2012. Journal of Epidemiology and Community Health. 2009, 63(2): 140-146 6 Scottish Executive. The Scottish Health Survey (2003). Summary of key Findings. 2005. Edinburgh. Available online: www.gov.scot/Resource/ Doc/924/0021055.pdf (accessed 2nd December 2017) 7 Scottish Government. Scottish Health Survey (2016). Volume 1: Main Report. 2017. Available at: www.gov.scot/Publications/2017/10/2970 (accessed 4th December 2017) 8 NHS Digital. Statistics on Obesity, Physical Activity and Diet. England: 2017. Available at: www.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/ attachment_data/file/613532/obes-phys-acti-diet-eng-2017-rep.pdf (accessed 4th December 2017) 9 NHS National Services Scotland. Body Mass Index of Primary 1 Children in Scotland. School Year 2015/16. 2016. Available at: www. isdscotland.org/Health-Topics/Child-Health/Publications/2016-12-13/2016-12-13-P1-BMI-Report.pdf (accessed 4th December 2017) 10 HM Government. Childhood Obesity: A Plan for Action (2016). Available at: www.gov.uk/government/publications/childhood-obesity-a-planfor-action#history (accessed 4th December 2017) 11 The Scottish Government. A Healthier Future - Action and Ambitions on Diet, Activity and Healthy Weight. Consultation Document. 2017. Available at: https://consult.gov.scot/health-and-social-care/a-healthier-future/user_uploads/00526543.pdf (accessed 6th December 2017) 12 NHS Commissioning Board. Clinical Commissioning Policy: Complex and Specialised Obesity Surgery. 2013. Available at: www.england.nhs. uk/wp-content/uploads/2016/05/appndx-6-policy-sev-comp-obesity-pdf.pdf (accessed on the 10th of December 2017) 13 The National Bariatric Surgery Registry of the British Obesity and Metabolic Surgery Society. The United Kingdom National Bariatric Surgery Registry. Second Registry Report. 2014. Available at: http://nbsr.co.uk/2014-report/ (accessed 10th December 2017) 14 Dagan SS, Goldenshluger A, Globus I, Schweiger C, Kessler Y, Sandbank GK, Ben-Porat T and Sinai T. Nutritional Recommendations for Adult Bariatric Surgery Patients: Clinical Practice. Advances in Nutrition. 2017, 8: 382-394 Copyright Š 2018 NH Publishing Ltd - All rights reserved. Available for printing and sharing for the use of CPD activities for personal use. Not for reproduction for publishing purposes without written permission from NH Publishing Ltd.


NHD CPD eArticle NETWORK HEALTH DIGEST

Volume 8.05 - 29th March 2018

Questions relating to: Obesity update: where are we now? Type your answers below, download and save or print for your records, or print and complete by hand. Q.1

What are the most common ways to determine obesity in an individual or population?

A

Q.2

Have obesity levels risen since the WHO report in 2000? Use statistics in the article to evidence your answer.

A

Q.3

Outline the UK government’s 2016 action plan on reducing childhood obesity.

A

Q.4

What new public health technology could help to encourage healthier decisions in individuals?

A

Q.5

Explain the UK government’s aims for primary schools in the fight against childhood obesity.

A

Q.6

What actions did the Scottish government propose in 2017?

A

Q.7

Describe the four tiers of clinical weight management.

A

Q.8

Summarise the Tier 4 management of obesity, giving the long-term side effects.

A

Please type additional notes here . . .

Copyright © 2018 NH Publishing Ltd - All rights reserved. Available for printing and sharing for the use of CPD activities for personal use. Not for reproduction for publishing purposes without written permission from NH Publishing Ltd.

NHD CPD eArticle Vol 8.05  

Obesity update: where are we now?

NHD CPD eArticle Vol 8.05  

Obesity update: where are we now?