Archive for May 18th, 2007

New Guidelines for Obesity

May 18, 2007

2504513455.jpgObesity is becoming a pandemic.  Worldwide, different health institutions are trying to formulate plans to hopefully and successfully combat this problem.  I often ask my patients to check the degree of obesity becoming a reality in our surroundings.  Since it’s summer, if you go to a pool or a beach, check the number of children you see as obese and you”ll really come to realize the increasing prevalence in our local setting.  I thought of this as a screening test for the growing number of obese people…because I’ll definitely do this thing when my family will enjoy the beach of Boracay this weekend! Nope I’ll not be doing this because I have other plans for my eyes to feast on ….

Recently, published in the April 10 issue of the Canadian Medical Association Journal is the fhe first-ever Canadian Clinical Practice Guidelines (CPG) on the Management and Prevention of Obesity in Adults and Children.   The group specifically recommends that waist circumference be measured along with height and weight.  Furthermore the guidelines also recommend that:

* First-line treatment for overweight and obese adults should consist of diet changes and regular exercise, supported by behaviour change; if unsuccessful, treatment with medications or bariatric surgery should be considered;

* Starting at 10 years of age, overweight or obese Canadians should undergo screening that would include tests measuring levels of fasting glucose, HDL (the good) and LDL (the bad) cholesterol, and triglycerides (a form of fat in the blood) levels. Furthermore, they should be monitored at regular intervals;

* Patients participating in weight management programs should be provided with education and support in behaviour modification techniques as an add-on to other lifestyle modifications;

* Programs to promote healthy, active living and to prevent overweight and obesity should be implemented in schools to reduce the risk of childhood obesity; these include interventions to increase daily physical activity through physical education class-time and opportunities for active recreation;

* “Screen time” (e.g. television watching, and video or computer games) should be limited to less than two hours per day to encourage increased activity and less food consumption, and to limit exposure to food advertising.

We all know them to exist.  I have written about them in previous posts.  But the problem is the implementation of the guidelines.  Unless our government helps in implementing them, and more marketing strategies by private and public entities that promote healthy lifestyle, these guidelines will remain as guidelines meant to inform and never practiced!

The American Association of Clinical Endocrinologists, Philippine Chapter of which I am a Board Member will definitely make this thrust an active part of our advocacy in promoting healthy lifestyle among the school children.  So watch out for us in some private schools nationwide as we will really be actively involved in this Fight!  For those interested, please contact me through this post and inform me of your interest for the group to make your school be part of this program.

Be Involved … Be Our Partners in Our Fight Against Obesity!