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Leading GP issues warning over UK’s obesity problem

26 September 2007

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The NHS has a chronic lack of specialist clinics to deal with Britain’s rising obesity problem, a leading GP has warned.

Dr Rosemary Leonard said GPs are “crying out” for clinics that specifically deal with obesity, which affects one in four adults.

At a Labour Party conference fringe meeting in Bournemouth, health minister Dawn Primarolo also conceded the problem requires urgent action.

She said: “(Obesity) has the potential to become a public health disaster, and we had better start working now across all clinical areas and government departments to do something about it.”

Ms Primarolo said widespread advice on healthy eating and taking exercise is not having a big enough impact, and added that other government departments have ideas on targeting obesity.

She said: “Each of us has a knowledge of this, but we have got to understand how grave the situation could be.”

Dr Leonard, who appears on BBC’s Breakfast, called for more specialist clinics to tackle the problem. She said: “What we are crying out for is specialist clinics that are seeing patients and motivating them and giving them encouragement.”

Asked about the lack of clinics, Ms Primarolo said there appear to be no simple answers, but the government will look into it.

Copyright © PA Business 2007

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