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Obesity prevention and management


Morgan Liotta


11/02/2019 4:02:39 PM

A new RACGP position statement emphasises the role GPs play in a vital area of healthcare.

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Person-first language and ending the use of stigmatising images is key to the RACGP’s position statement.

In its ‘Obesity prevention and management: Position statement February 2019’, the RACGP Specific Interests Obesity network acknowledges that obesity is one of the most important health issues facing Australia – affecting health, wellbeing and productivity, linking directly and indirectly to many chronic conditions, and causing significant morbidity.
 
The RACGP emphasises the central role that general practice plays in the prevention and management of obesity, and recommends increased Government support for effective and evidence-based services and therapies, and funding for new research.
 
The college’s position statement highlights key areas to support prevention and management of obesity in general practice:
 
Public policy
The RACGP advocates for a change in public policy to support healthy environments, and shifting health messages surrounding obesity to focus on ‘gaining health’ rather than ‘losing weight’, recognising that there is more to obesity than body weight.

Recognise the key role of GPs in managing obesity
The RACGP states that GPs are ‘in a unique position to bridge issues that cross primary care and public health ... GPs deal with individuals day to day, but also have a deep understanding of the communities in which they work.’
 
GPs are key to promoting obesity prevention by identifying patients at higher risk.
 
Education and support for GPs in managing obesity
Upskilling primary care professionals is essential to assist in the detection, prevention and management of obesity, and the RACGP recognises the need for further education and support of GPs and general practice registrars.
 
Stigmatisation
The RACGP identifies the need for awareness of stigmatisation and inequity associated with obesity, and commits to using person-first language – ‘person with obesity’, rather than ‘obese person’ – and to ending the use of stigmatising images and messages.
 
Advocacy
The RACGP calls for all levels of government, public health authorities, and other sectors to join GPs in addressing the issues of Australia’s obesogenic environment. The college is committed to the prevention and management of obesity to ensure better health outcomes and quality of life.
 
The RACGP’s full list of position statements is available on the college website.



obesity overweight and obesity position statement





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