Doctors have been urged to skill up and ‘lead by example’ as part of a coordinated national plan to tackle obesity.
Writing in the Medical Journal of Australia, Laureate Professor Nicholas Talley said doctors could start by exerting their influence in workplaces including universities, hospitals and health services.
He said doctors could help promote a greater variety of fresh foods and water for staff, students and visitors in lieu of sugar-sweetened beverages and processed foods.
Professor Talley, who chaired the National Health Summit on Obesity last November, said it was also vital for medical schools and colleges to step up and better equip doctors to manage obesity.
Other recommendations from the Summit included:
- Removing stigma, a focus on prevention in children and better access to optimal disease management.
- Providing obesity prevention and care for all women before conception and as part of routine perinatal care, with support services after birth.
- Adoption of a new comprehensive evidence-based strategy including a focus on diet, exercise and healthy cities.
- Stronger voluntary regulation and new legislation e.g. a sugar-sweetened beverage tax.