Sunday, September 26, 2010

Practice Nurses Tackling Obesity Epidemic

This post has been reposted by Gary Gray aka garydotgray from a blog post by Dr. Coull of Charlottetown, P.E.I. Canada

Practice Nurses Tackling Obesity Epidemic: "Canada is in the middle of a deadly obesity epidemic.

Fast food, slow death
(North America)
Healthy for life
Which life do you want future generations of Canadians to have?

Obesity is classed as a Body Mass Index (BMI) of over 30. BMI is the ratio of your weight to your height.

The Pheonix Medical Practice computer system contains the height and weight of all of our patients who have been for their initial visit with our clinical team. Each night our computer re-calculates every patient's BMI and works out what percentage of our patients have a BMI over 30.

Today, the computer says 28% of patients at the Phoenix Medical Practice are classed as obese. In 1980 that figure would have been around 10%.

Obesity is a very serious medical condition.

Obesity is a killer. It puts a strain on your heart, lungs, blood vessels, and joints. Your risk of getting diabetes goes up with your weight. The Online Nursing Programs Obesity Overview suggests that "Obesity has become one of the most important public health issues facing not only the United States but also the world."

Condemning our children to a life of sickness and early death

Basically, your chances of being sick and dying young go up with your weight. As obesity rates rise, our children face a life of ill health and short lifespan unknown since the rise of modern medicine.

It's a nightmare that is unfolding so slowly that few are noticing it even happening. Combined with the body image problems of a size zero obsessed fashion industry, we have a society that has a terminal weight problem.

What can we do about it?

The solutions are actually quite simple in theory. We build roads that give priority to cyclists and walkers, we force the food industry to reduce hidden sugar and fat, and we tax sugary and fatty foods. Of course, none of these things are going to happen any time soon in a capitalist economic system addicted to unhealthy food and big cars. That's a discussion for you to have with your politicians. Dr Jenni Zelin is hard at work doing a great job pushing for more cycle lanes in PEI

In the mean time, our Practice Nursing Team will be following the WHO advice. The WHO is urging family physician teams to intervene with healthy eating and lifestyle advice. Our team of nurses are already doing that. They have lists of patients who are obese, and they will be working through the list calling them to offer them support and advice. Our Practice Nurses can run a very successful weight management program with these patients.

The WHO wants to see this introduced nationally. It thinks 40,000 Canadians will be saved if it is. We agree. Our team is already hard at work doing this.

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