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'Government's obesity proposals fine - but surgery still useful'
6:50pm Friday 14th October 2011 in News
A Taunton expert on obesity has welcomed Government proposals to make people lose weight – but warns that surgery must also be part of the solution.
The Government is calling for people to exercise more and eat more healthily as figures show over 60% of adults and a third of 10 and 11-year-olds are overweight or obese.
They are more likely to develop diabetes, heart disease and some cancers.
Richard Welbourn, clinical director of The Bariatric Group, said: “It’s excellent news that the Government is focusing on obesity and wants to solve what is a significant problem.
“Of course prevention is far better than cure - we all need to eat healthily, drink sensibly and take exercise, and encourage our children to do the same.
“But we also need to think about those who’ve missed the boat of prevention – they still need assistance.
“For some, diet and exercise won’t be enough.
“We all know people who have dieted for years and tried all forms of exercise but simply cannot keep the weight off.
“Weight loss surgery enables people to lose weight and crucially keep the weight off, and it also significantly reduces the chances of developing other serious health conditions.
“A study I carried out in Taunton showed that 72% of patients with diabetes who had weight loss surgery no longer needed their diabetes medication 12 months later.
“A report from the Office for Health Economics has shown that surgery is cost-effective, reducing the bill to the NHS of caring for people with long-term conditions.”