Public health and the prevention of obesity
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Drummond, S., Stratton, G. & Cade, J. (2017). Public health and the prevention of obesity. In: Hankey, C. & Whelan, K. (eds.) Advanced Nutrition and Dietetics in Obesity. Chichester, West Sussex: Wiley, pp. 329-354.
This chapter describes the key national campaigns in the UK and elsewhere that focus on reducing the prevalence of obesity. In addition to campaigns that help prevent increases in obesity, the Scottish government supports the 'Counterweight Programme' – an initiative to manage and treat overweight and obese patients in primary care. The chapter considers physical activity and sedentary time and their influence on the prevention of obesity, and also in its treatment, with a focus on children. It covers key elements that are considered when designing obesity related initiatives. Due to the multifactorial nature of the causes of weight gain, designing and developing successful interventions present a challenge for public health practitioners. Public health initiatives related to obesity are, by their nature, complex interventions, and these require specific considerations in terms of evaluation.