This site is intended for health professionals only

NHS staff urged to count calories

7 April 2009

Share this article

Overweight NHS staff are being told to set a good example to patients and sign up for programmes designed to help shed extra pounds.

Midwives, health visitors and nurses often have to deliver important nutritional information to patients as part of key public health messages to combat obesity and unhealthy eating.

Now, frontline professionals are being urged to practise what they preach by trying to lose weight after it was estimated that over 700,000 people working in the NHS are thought to be overweight or obese.

A Department of Health report said: “The public sector should lead both as an example of government action and due to the large numbers it employs.

“The NHS, schools and local authorities all have an important role to play, not only in the services they provide for the public but also in looking after their employees’ health and wellbeing.”

The Healthy Weight, Healthy Lives: One Year On report said that out of the 1.2m NHS staff, about 300,000 would be classified as obese and a further 400,000 as overweight.

To aid the drive, a bespoke programme of support will be developed to help staff who advise and interact with children and families on obesity to achieve and maintain a healthy weight.

Copyright © Press Association

Department of Health