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Public Health England: prevention 'must be at heart of NHS long-term plan'

By Tom Walker    10 Sep 2018

Public Health England CEO Duncan Selbie has called on the NHS to prioritise the prevention of obesity, cardiovascular disease and smoking in its new long-term plan.

On obesity, Selbie said the NHS should build upon the current childhood obesity plan and expand it to target adult obesity too.

"The childhood obesity plan has a commitment to halve the rate of childhood obesity by 2030 – and the NHS long-term plan should include targets on adult obesity," Selbie said, adding that physical activity would play a major role in any prevention plan.

"One way to achieve this is by increasing weight management support provided," he said.

"Making it routine for people to have their body mass index (BMI) measured and recorded will provide an opportunity for healthcare professionals to give advice and promote national guidance on physical activity."

As well as obesity, Selbie wants to see more emphasis on preventing diabetes and tackling smoking.

"The NHS long-term plan should also renew our commitment to the NHS Diabetes Prevention Programme (NDDP)," Selbie added.

"Type 2 diabetes, for which obesity is a key driver, is a major contributor to kidney failure, heart attack, and stroke. It costs the NHS around £8.8bn every year.

"Successful delivery will require action from every part of civil society.

"We must pull together to use our resources and we must engage the public directly in the choices they are making about their own health and wellbeing."

Selbie was speaking at the Health and Care Innovation Expo, held in Manchester last week.

Selbie said the NHS should build upon the current childhood obesity plan and expand it to target adult obesity too / Shutterstock
Public Health England  PHE  Duncan Selbie  NHS 
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