Over recent years, the subject of obesity has been a hot topic in the world of fitness. So, it’s always great to hear that new support is emerging to help tackle the issues surrounding obesity-related illness.
The Royal College of GPs (RCGP) has just announced that they’ll consider physical activity and lifestyle as one of its clinical priorities over the next three years.
As a growing number of GP’s have begun to refer patients to fitness professionals to help treat numerous obesity-related conditions, a focus on sedentary lifestyles has grown within the public health sector.
The RCGP has outlined a plan to support GP’s and healthcare professionals with reliable, evidence-based information to prevent and manage lifestyle-related diseases. They say that the promotion of regular physical activity will be at the forefront of their initiatives.
GP’s can offer advice surrounding healthy diets and weight management, though many feel that they don’t have the high quality training, or the incentive to promote exercise as a solution.
Giving them the additional training and awareness they need, will help GP’s to give much more attention to exercise referral and strengthen their working partnerships with specialist fitness practitioners.
In the long run, this will aim to reduce the mounting pressure on the NHS, by focusing on prevention, rather than cure.
Unless we set in place solid changes to tackle the obesity crisis, 60% of us could be obese by 2030. One in 10 are likely to develop Type II diabetes, leading to numerous complications including cardiovascular disease, kidney disease, eye disease, depression and amputation.
This announcement not only brings great opportunities for GP’s, but also opens new doors for fitness professionals. Exercise Referral Specialists will become increasingly more in demand as patients are referred to exercise-based treatment. Whilst specialist fitness practitioners including Obesity & Diabetes Specialists and Specialist Personal Trainers will be sought to provide expert advice and fitness programmes.
UKActive’s Executive Director, Steven Ward has described this move as a “watershed moment” which will receive UKActive’s full support.