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Found 43 results
  1. Content Article
    In 2007, the International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) classified shift work that follows an irregular time pattern as a probable cause of cancer. This was based on some animal and human studies that found that people who worked shifts or during the night were more likely to develop some types of cancer, such as breast and prostate cancer. It also came from the idea that not following the natural day/night cycle and disrupting that natural rhythm in your body, called your ‘circadian rhythm’, could have a negative impact on health. This is somewhat true, as there are biological processes that are triggered by exposure to daylight, or by hormones that fluctuate over the course of the day. However, more recent studies on night shift work and cancer risk factor in information like this, such as BMI and waist size, and have not found that shift work itself makes someone more likely to cause cancer. In 2016, a meta-analysis (which combines the data of many different studies together) found no link between night shift work and breast cancer. In 2020, another meta-analysis that included data from 57 different studies and at least nine different types of cancer found no increased risk with night shift work. So no, night shift work does not itself increase your risk of developing cancer. Instead, this type of working pattern may lead to other health behaviours or factors that increase your risk, such as being overweight or obese, or not doing enough physical activity.
  2. News Article
    A father whose daughter died after travelling to Turkey for weight-loss surgery has urged people to think again before doing the same. Shannon Meenan Browse from Londonderry was 32 when she died in August. The mother-of-four travelled for a gastric sleeve operation 18 months ago but, according to her father, got sick almost straight away. The family were told she died in Altnagelvin Hospital from "malnutrition due to gastric sleeve". A BBC investigation in March found that seven British patients who travelled to Turkey for weight-loss surgery died after operations there, while others returned home with serious health issues. One of the UK's leading bariatric surgeons, Prof David Kerrigan said people are taking a "massive risk" by travelling abroad for weight-loss surgery. In the UK, he said, patients undergo a rigorous preparatory process that includes a psychological assessment and there is "a proper after-care programme". Read full story Source: BBC News, 6 September 2023
  3. News Article
    Europe's drugs regulator has told BBC News it is conducting a review of some weight-loss jabs after being alerted to a possible link to thoughts of suicide and self-harm among users. Member state Iceland notified the European Medicines Agency after seeing three cases. The safety assessment will look at Wegovy, Saxenda and similar drugs, such as Ozempic, that help curb appetite. Product leaflets already list suicidal thoughts as a possible side effect. An EMA official said: "The review is being carried out in the context of a signal procedure raised by the Icelandic Medicines Agency, following three case reports. "A signal is information on a new or known adverse event that is potentially caused by a medicine and that warrants further investigation. "The case reports included two cases of suicidal thoughts - one following the use of Saxenda and one after Ozempic. "One additional case reported thoughts of self-injury with Saxenda. "The EMA will communicate further when more information becomes available." Read full story Source: BBC News, 10 July 2023
  4. News Article
    GPs in England may start offering weight-loss jabs to some patients to reduce obesity-related illnesses and resultant pressure on hospitals. Wegovy was approved for NHS use after research suggested users could shed over 10% of their body weight. The drug blunts appetite, so users feel full and eat less. Rishi Sunak said it could be a "game-changer" as he announced a £40 million pilot scheme to increase access to specialist weight management services. But experts warn "skinny jabs" - widely used in the US and endorsed by many celebrities - are not a quick fix or a substitute for a healthy diet and exercise. NHS drugs watchdog, the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE), says patients can access Wegovy for a maximum of two years via specialist weight-management services. The new scheme will test how GPs could safely prescribe such drugs and the NHS provide support in the community or digitally, contributing to the government's wider ambition to reduce pressure on hospitals and give patients access to the care they need where it is most convenient for them. Read full story Source: BBC News, 7 June 2023
  5. Content Article
    The framework integrates health and social systems responses that can be adapted according to country, context, circumstance, and need. It outlines opportunities for integrating and activating obesity interventions within already existing care pathways. This avoids the need to design and deliver new and different models for service delivery and maximizes efficiencies for health systems including minimising additional pressures on the health workforce. The framework is also interlinked with additional interventions proposed in the priority package of the WHO Acceleration Plan to STOP Obesity. It aims to promote expanded access to obesity prevention and management services for all age groups across the life course. It is addressed to policy makers and guides the integration and organisation of obesity prevention and management services through the health system and community as critical components of universal health coverage. The framework is based on the principles of primary health care, follows a chronic care approach, and is supported by the integration of obesity prevention and management into existing service delivery frameworks across the health care system, including communities and homes. It also supports the planning of required resources for the scaling up and sustainability of services.
  6. News Article
    Obese patients cost the NHS double the amount that people who are a healthy weight do, a landmark new study has revealed. One million patients who were a healthy weight cost the NHS £638 on average in 2019, the research found. Meanwhile, £1,375 was spent per year on morbidly obese patients with a body mass index (BMI) of more than 40. Experts warned the future viability of the NHS relies on combatting increasing obesity as it was leading to record levels of long-term sickness. The research, presented at the European Congress of Obesity in Dublin, is the first to show how NHS spending varies depending on a patient’s weight. The findings showed a staggering rise in spending on heavier patients because they develop obesity-related conditions like type 2 diabetes and heart disease. Read full story Source: The Independent, 18 May 2023
  7. News Article
    New weight loss drugs such as Wegovy will not be a “silver bullet” in tackling obesity, the World Health Organization (WHO) has warned. Francesco Branca, WHO director of food and nutrition safety, said weight loss drugs must be used alongside a healthy diet and exercise. Ms Branca’s comments come as the health body conducts its first review of obesity management guidelines in two decades. Semaglutide, marketed as Wegovy by drugmaker Novo Nordisk, is an appetite suppressant drug that has been approved by the UK medicines regulator and described by some as a “game changer” in helping people to shed weight. People will only be given Wegovy on prescription as part of a specialist weight management service involving input from several professionals and for a maximum of two years. Some experts described the decision as a “pivotal moment” for the treatment of people living with obesity but others warned that the drug is not a “quick fix”. Read full story Source: The Independent, 12 May 2023
  8. News Article
    Online pharmacies operating in the UK are approving and dispatching prescriptions of controversial slimming jabs for people of a healthy weight, a Guardian investigation has found. Some pharmacies appear to be issuing prescriptions of such medications to people who lie about their body mass index (BMI) on an online form. In one case a reporter was issued a prescription after accurately saying their BMI was about 20. A healthy BMI lies between 18.5 and 24.9. The findings have raised alarm among eating disorder charities, which have warned that weight-loss medications should only be sold under the strictest conditions. Their concern has prompted calls for online pharmacies to employ stronger health checks and screening for eating disorders. Read full story Source: The Guardian, 10 May 2023
  9. News Article
    A rise in the use of slimming jabs could lead to an increase in unsafe treatment for tummy tucks and surgery to remove excess skin, UK surgeons have warned. Drugs such as semaglutide and liraglutide are approved for use on the NHS for certain groups of people with obesity, and could help people reduce their weight by more than 10%. Surgeons have warned that people using the jabs may not realise they could be left with excess skin. “Whilst the newly introduced weight-loss drugs are not likely to produce comparable weight loss to bariatric surgery there is always the possibility that accompanying weight loss, a patient might be left with a degree of deflation and redundant skin,” said Marc Pacifico, the president of the British Association of Aesthetic Plastic Surgeons. However, access to surgery on the NHS to remove excess skin is limited because the NHS do not fund post-weight loss plastic surgery any more, so it has to be undertaken in the private sector. That costs about £4,500 to £6,000 in the UK, so Mr Pacifico warned patients might seek cheaper procedures abroad.. “I would strongly warn against this as there might not be the safeguards and assurances that the drugs being used are of the same quality and provenance as those being prescribed in the UK,” he said. He also warned that there are risks associated with having weight-loss plastic surgery abroad, such as the inability to undertake proper research on a surgeon, as well as the risks associated with flying straight after significant surgery – such as blood clots, as well as a lack of accessible follow-up with the surgeon and clinic to treat post-operative wound infections. Read full story Source: The Independent, 29 March 2023
  10. News Article
    Governments should set aside 10% of health spending for preventive and public measures such as cycle lanes and anti-obesity strategies, a thinktank has said, warning that “political short-termism” over health is making the UK increasingly ill and unequal. The report by the Tony Blair Institute argues that a centralised NHS model “almost entirely focused on treating sickness” rather than on wider objectives is not only harming people’s health but hampering the economy, with more than 2.5 million people out of the labour market because of long-term ailments. The report emphasises the human cost as well, noting that the effect of diseases caused or exacerbated by lifestyle means UK life expectancy is stagnating, while men living in the London borough of Kensington and Chelsea can now expect to live 27 years longer than their peers in Blackpool, Lancashire. Along with a coherent central plan, the authors stressed the need for effective localism, with accountable regional bodies working to improve public health, rather than “the existing top-down and reactive approach of the NHS”. Read full story Source: The Guardian, 24 March 2023
  11. News Article
    Seven British patients who travelled to Turkey for weight loss surgery died after operations there, a BBC investigation into the trend has found. Others have returned home with serious health issues after having had gastric sleeve operations, during which more than 70% of the stomach is removed. The operations, used to treat morbid obesity, are carried out in the UK, but, because it can take years to get one through the NHS, some people are looking abroad for treatment. British doctors say that they're treating an increasing number of patients who have travelled to Turkey and returned with serious complications. Dr Ahmed Ahmed, a leading surgeon and member of council at the British Obesity and Metabolic Surgery Society, says he's treated patients returning from Turkey who have had an entirely different operation to the one they understood they had paid for. The BBC has also been told that some people are being accepted for surgery who do not have a medical need for it. The BBC contacted 27 Turkish clinics to see if they would accept someone for treatment who was considered to have a normal BMI. Six of the clinics we approached were happy to accept someone with a BMI of 24.5 for extreme weight loss surgery. Separately, the BBC also found that some clinics who refused the treatment actually then encouraged patients to put on weight, to enable them to be accepted for surgery. One said: "You need to gain 6.7kg to have sleeve surgery. I think you can easily eat some food and then lose weight easily." Another asked: "How soon can you gain weight?" Dr Ahmed says the practices are "reckless" and "unethical". Read full story Source: BBC News, 21 March 2023
  12. News Article
    The drug giant behind weight loss injections newly approved for NHS use spent millions in just three years on an “orchestrated PR campaign” to boost its UK influence. As part of its strategy, Novo Nordisk paid £21.7m to health organisations and professionals who in some cases went on to praise the treatment without always making clear their links to the firm, an Observer investigation has found. Among the vocal champions of the Wegovy jabs was a clinical expert who gave evidence to the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) and others who publicly praised the so-called “skinny jabs” as a “gamechanger”. The revelations come as the Danish drug giant is investigated by the UK’s pharmaceutical watchdog after it was found to have breached the industry code seven times in relation to a “disguised promotional campaign” of another of its weight loss drugs via online webinars for healthcare professionals. Prof Allyson Pollock, professor of public health at Newcastle University, said Novo’s campaign was “not unusual” in the drugs industry and called for measures to improve trust. “The public really aren’t being made aware enough about the potential for bias and over-claiming,” she said. Read full story Source: The Guardian, 12 March 2023
  13. News Article
    A newly approved weight loss jab should be used with caution as it could be harmful to those vulnerable to eating disorders, doctors have warned. Thousands struggling with obesity could be prescribed Wegovy, or semaglutide, which scientists have described as a “game changer”, after the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) approved its use. However, eating disorder experts have warned the NHS to proceed with caution in prescribing the drug, with one GP accusing NICE of being “absolutely reckless” in approving it. The drug was approved on Wednesday for use in adults who have at least one weight-related condition, such as type 2 diabetes, high blood pressure, high cholesterol sleep apnoea and heart disease, and a body mass index score of at least 35. It can only be prescribed to those undergoing weight management treatment. Read full story Source: The Independent, 8 March 2023
  14. News Article
    More than half of the world’s population will be overweight or obese by 2035 unless governments take decisive action to curb the growing epidemic of excess weight, a report has warned. About 2.6 billion people globally – 38% of the world population – are already overweight or obese. But on current trends that is expected to rise to more than 4 billion people (51%) in 12 years’ time, according to research by the World Obesity Federation. Without widespread use of tactics such as taxes and limits on the promotion of unhealthy food, the number of people who are clinically obese will increase from one in seven today to one in four by 2035. If that happens, almost 2 billion people worldwide would be living with obesity. Evidence shows that obesity increases someone’s risk of cancer, heart disease and other diseases. Prof Louise Baur, the federation’s president, said the stark findings were “a clear warning that by failing to address obesity today, we risk serious repercussions in the future. “It is particularly worrying to see obesity rates rising fastest among children and adolescents.” Countries need to take “ambitious and coordinated action” as part of a “robust international response” to tackle the growing health and economic crisis that obesity involves, the federation believes. “Governments and policymakers around the world need to do all they can to avoid passing health, social and economic costs on to the younger generation,” Baur added. Read full story Source: The Guardian, 2 March 2023
  15. News Article
    Older and overweight patients are making it harder to clear NHS surgery backlogs, anaesthetists have warned. New data reveal an “extremely worrying picture” of increasing age, rates of obesity and complexity of surgical patients across the UK, the Royal College of Anaesthetists said. The average age of patients requiring anaesthesia increased by 2.3 years, from 50.5 to 52.8, over the last decade, while their BMI also jumped from 24.9 (borderline normal/overweight) to 26.7 (overweight). The proportion of patients who are complex or have other comorbidities has also significantly increased, the study found. When patients are older, overweight and have other problems, this makes anaesthetic and surgical care more complicated and higher risk, the authors said. Managing these patients safely takes longer during surgery and can lead to slower recovery times, requiring more time in hospital. Read full story (paywalled) Source: The Telegraph, 2 March 2023
  16. Content Article
    The coroner raised the following matters of concern: Jeesal Cawston Park (JCP) Jeesal Akman Care Corporation was the care provider for JCP and closed in 2021. However, Jeesal Holdings Ltd, Jeesal Residential Care Services Ltd (JRCSL) and possibly other linked companies with the same directors, continue to provide residential care to persons with mental health illness, learning disabilities, complex needs and physical disability. The concerns raised at the inquest could apply to residential care offered by these companies and unless such concerns are addressed there is a risk that future deaths may occur. It is not known if the directors of these companies are directors of other companies providing care for persons with learning and other disabilities. CCTV was shown at the inquest which revealed Ben King had been assaulted in the hours prior to his death and also that 1 to 1 observation was not carried out in accordance with the Observations Policy. CCTV is a reliable means of ensuring that staff comply with Policies and residents are treated with dignity. CCTV is not available in many if not all of the residential homes owned by JHL and JRCSL. Basic dietary advice and guidance provided was not followed by staff. The use of the Dietician in training of staff was reduced in 2017 from one day’s training to an hour’s power point presentation. Important records were not completed by staff, eg Food intake, Exercise, Weight and vital observations. Evidence was heard that exercise was not regularly offered to Ben King and when the Sports Instructor was absent for lengthy periods of time, there was no replacement Multi-Disciplinary Team (MDT) Meetings were not held every 4 to 6 weeks as required. At MDT meetings which did take place, out of date weight measurements were recorded and relied upon for Ben. His increasing weight gain was not discussed at these meetings and weight loss was not set as a desirable or essential goal. JCP used the Pandora software system, (company Directors for Pandora are the same as for JHL and JRCSL) which is still used at the residential homes owned by JHL and JRCSL. Concerns were raised at the inquest in respect of this software system in that not all policies and documents were available to staff on the IPads provided, some of the documents were unwieldy and difficult to read (for example, Personal Healthcare Plan), the Dietician recommended use of paper records in respect of Food and Fluid intake as these would be more accessible to staff and encourage the documents to be completed or in the alternative providing for the records on Ipads to be more easy to access and complete. The internal investigation carried out following Mr Ben King’s death did not capture the concerns raised at inquest. Evidence was heard that no substantive changes have been made at the residential homes owned by JHL and JRCSL following the death of Ben King and the closure of JCP to deal with these concerns. Norfolk and Norwich University Hospital (NNUH) Guidance was sought by Emergency Department (ED) when Ben King attended on 10 July 2020 from a Respiratory Consultant, who was not made aware that Ben King had attended some 6 hours earlier with the same symptoms. The Respiratory on call consultant was not contacted when Mr King returned to NNUH two days later on the 12 July 2020 with the same symptoms. At the time of Ben King’s attendance at NNUH, Ben King was under the Respiratory Team and had been seen a few days earlier, on 3 July 2020. The Respiratory Team was not made aware of Ben King’s attendances at ED on 9, 10 or 12 July 2020 with respiratory problems. Advice given on discharge appears to be unclear and contradictory. The expert Respiratory Consultant referred to the advice as being “inadequate, unclear and inaccurate” On the Discharge Form provided on 9 July 2020 it is noted “Plan – home as Ben is back to normal, self, red flags and safety netting covered, to return in the event of any difficulty.” On discharge from ED on 10 July 2020 (second occasion) the hospital record states that Ben King is to return home, encouraged to lose weight, fluids are to be encouraged and “with no need to monitor his sats unless clinically unwell with sats in 60s%”. Not all of this information was included in the Discharge Form on 10 July 2020: The Discharge Form provided under “Other” - “seen by respiratory team, they are happy to send him home, they have clerked their advice on the paper. CPAP and O2” On 12 July 2020 the Discharge Plan provided “Home”. The advice from the Respiratory Consultant seen on 3 July 2020 was for CPAP to stop. Evidence was heard from the Care staff at JCP that they were unclear as to what the plan was with regard to Ben and specifically as to when Ben was to be returned to Hospital. One of the Doctors at JCP contacted the ED, NNUH to try to ascertain what the advice was and was unable to get any substantive response. Email contact was made with the Respiratory Team but no response was received until after Ben King’s death on 28 July 2020. The section headed “Drug History” was not completed on the Discharge Form on Ben King’s attendances on 9 or 12 July 2020. On 10 July, it states “nil significant”. This is despite Ben King being prescribed Promethazine, a sedative medication, affecting the respiratory system. Evidence was heard that not all prescribed medications could be expected to be included in “the small space” provided. That this is a medication where consideration would have been given to a risk/benefit analysis but there was no evidence of any such analysis. Regulation 28 evidence was that not all medication can be listed; only “pertinent” medication. Promethazine would appear to be such a medication. Arterial and venous blood gas samples were taken from Ben King on his attendances on 9 and 10 July 2020, which the Respiratory Consultant said in evidence were incomparable (although this was not the evidence of the Expert Respiratory Consultant). No blood gas samples were taken on the 12 July 2020. A copy of this report was sent to: The Chief Coroner Clinical Commissioning Group Norfolk Safeguarding Adults Review Group Care Quality Commission Department of Health Healthcare Safety Investigation Branch (HSIB) Healthwatch - Norfolk
  17. News Article
    Obesity may double the risk of falling seriously ill with Covid-19 and increase the chances of dying by almost 50 per cent, according to researchers, who also warned any future vaccine may be less effective for the clinically overweight. Health issues caused by obesity include a number of pre-existing conditions known to exacerbate a Covid-19 infection – including heart disease, diabetes and high blood pressure. Now a global assessment of health data gathered since the start of the the pandemic by researchers at the University of North Carolina has found people with a Body Mass Index (BMI) of more than 30 were 113 per cent more likely to be hospitalised. Those admitted to hospital were found to be 74% more likely to be admitted to an intensive care unit, while the risk of death among obese patients increased by 48%. Read full story Source: The Independent, 26 August 2020
  18. News Article
    It has been recommended by UK researchers that patients, regardless of their metabolic rate, should be given weight management advice as people with obesity were still at risk of diabetes, cardiovascular and respiratory diseases. A recent study found that regardless of your metabolic rate, it did not necessarily mean that the patient with obesity were healthy and that doctors should avoid using the term “metabolically healthy obesity” as it could be misleading. Read full story. Source: Nursing Times, 11 June 2021
  19. Content Article
    The report highlights that countries need to take urgent action to address the inequities in health caused by unjust and unfair factors within health systems. These factors—which account for many of the differences in health outcomes between persons with and without disabilities—can take the form of: negative attitudes of healthcare providers, health information in formats that cannot be understood, or difficulties accessing a health centre due to the physical environment, lack of transport or financial barriers. 9789240063600-eng.pdf
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