Tackling Obesity - Obesity Surgery Guide

This is a global problem which affects all socioeconomic groups in many countries around the world.  In the UK it has become one of the biggest threats to our way of life.  It is now recognised that action has to be taken to address this problem which is increasing year after year.

Due to a change in our lifestyles and environment we are consuming more food but unfortunately, we are less active than we used be.  This and other factors are the prime Causes of Obesity.

However, there are plans being put in place to tackle this problem.  These include educating people about the importance of a healthy diet, taking exercise, walking to places rather than using the car and many more…


What you eat is vitally important.  We have a plentiful supply of food, in fact there may be too much choice and the range and quality is better than before.     

One of the problems that has been mentioned is that there is plenty of cheap, ‘unhealthy' food and takeaways which are alright in moderation but not in excess.  Another problem is that people are a lot busier than before and do not have the time or even the desire to spend hours in the kitchen preparing a meal. And there is also the fact that healthy food can be more expensive than the cheaper convenience foods.  This makes it unattractive to those on a tight budget.  Plus there are those people who do not know what foods they should be eating and why.

What can be done is to educate people about healthy eating.  Explain to them about the different types of foods; about the importance of protein, carbohydrates and fats.  Ensure that food products have clear, easy to understand labelling which shows the nutritional value of food.  And, we can try to ensure that manufacturers reduce the amounts of saturated fat, salt and sugar in their food products. 

Make fresh fruit and vegetables accessible and affordable.  Provide them in schools and in the workplace.  Replace unhealthy meals and snacks in schools with healthy options.  This approach has recently been tackled by celebrity cook Jamie Oliver. 

This does not have to mean going to a gym.  Exercise can take many forms and does not have to be expensive.  The idea is to find a physical activity that you enjoy which means that you will stick with it. 

Experts now recommend that we do a minimum of 30 minutes exercise a day, at least five days a week.  This may sound a lot but you can break it down into three 10 minute sessions throughout the day.  Ideally, children and teenagers should do around 60 minutes of activity a day.  This can include walking or cycling to school, games lessons and physical activity during break times and after school. 

Adults can aim to do the 30 minute sessions and older people can follow the same schedule.  For older people it is especially important to be mobile and to keep fit and healthy. 

These guidelines are for people who are at a healthy weight.  But, for those people who are overweight or obese a greater amount of time needs to be spent on physical activity.  It is recommended that they spend 45 minutes to an hour or up to an hour and a half.  It does not have to be strenuous; in fact moderate activity is recommended.  This can mean going for a bike ride or taking a brisk walk.

Activities can range from walking, cycling, swimming, playing a sport, gardening, taking the dog for a walk, dancing, walking up the stairs at work and so on.

Going into schools to promote healthy eating to children is one aspect.  Another is the building of sports facilities: Ensuring children from all socioeconomic groups have access to sports and leisure facilities.  Building more cycle paths and encouraging children to cycle or walk to school.

We need to look at the role of advertising and the promotion of high fat food.  Advertisers constantly bombard children with images of sweet, sugary food and drinks.  Schools have vending machines which contain unhealthy snacks.  Look at replacing these with healthy alternatives.  Look at advertising healthy food as well as other types.  Change the way advertisers market unhealthy foods by ensuring that the nutritional content is shown.  And emphasise that these are okay if taken in moderation.


Many people travel to work either by public transport or by car.  As well as the environmental issues, encourage less reliance on the car by walking or cycling to work.  If the car has to be used, try car sharing or a ‘park and ride' scheme.

If your workplace has a canteen or restaurant then it could provide healthy meals and snacks.  Offices and the like could have a gym or provide some means of leisure or physical activities.

Maybe enabling more people to work from home might mean that they would have time to go a walk or undertake some form of exercise.

Other factors could include providing support and advice to people and families on obesity, healthy eating and exercise.  And more help to people who are overweight or have chronic weight problems. 

Some of these measures have already been put into place or are in the process of.  This is a problem that affects all of us and one that we cannot afford to ignore.

Diet, exercise and weight loss medications are all ways that people can use in order to deal with chronic weight problems.   However, many people find that these do not work which then leaves them with only one option: that of weight loss surgery