The Truth Behind Obesity Treatment Levels Uncovered In New Report



Obesity Charity HOOP (Helping Overcome Obesity Problems) UK has published a report highlighting the fact that despite much talk, action on obesity is low and obesity is the poor relation to other public health issues.  

HOOP has heard from its members loud and clear that quality services are not available to help them.  This report supports our members experiences and HOOP therefore calls on both local and Central Government to consider carefully the findings of our report.

1 in 3 children and 2 in 3 adults are overweight and obese. The estimated annual cost of obesity to this country is £27bn which is very high considering the annual interest on our national debt are £43bn.

Through a freedom of Information request, our report published on Monday 10th March identifies the imbalance of funds spent on the treatment of obesity in comparison to that of other health services such as Drug Misuse, Alcohol Misuse and Sexual Health.

HOOP UK are asking central government to take the issue of obesity seriously which effects 65% of the population and to provide a guidance body, possibly a Department of Obesity, to give the leadership, planning and monitoring required to dramatically improve the situation.

Key Findings

  • Based on the 109 local authorities that responded to the Freedom of Information request submitted by HOOP UK, it was identified that:
  • 2.5% of the public health allocation was spent on weight management services
  • 0.9% of the allocation was spent on children’s weight management services
  • These allocations are extremely low compared to: Substance misuse (29%) Sexual Health (21%) and Smoking (5%)
  • This disparity is more problematic when the direct and indirect costs of each public health issue are considered: Obesity (£6.1bn (direct) and £27bn (indirect); Drugs misuse (£488m and £14.9bn); Alcohol misuse(£3.5bn and £21bn) and sexual health (£1.5bn and £14.1bn) respectively.

Lesley McCormack, CEO of HOOP UK says:

This report echos the experiences of our members that quality obesity services are not available.  Even we were shocked by the findings of our report, it is hard to understand when the direct and indirect costs of obesity are so much higher, why other public health issues take a disproportionate share of the public health allocation.  Central government and local authorities need to be made aware of this imbalance and steps need to be taken to put long term plans in place to address this. Our members are on hand as experts by experience to offer views and suggestions. They just need tbe asked. We commit to carry out this review on a yearly basis to see if central and local government can prioritise obesity.

HOOP UK members also report that weight management services currently available are often ‘patchy’ at best and the request is that monitoring systems are put in place to ensure services adhere to NICE guidelines.

The central mission of HOOP UK is to Overcome Obesity issues. It is not a ‘fat acceptance’ group as it fully recognises the impact of weight on health and well being. It does however strive to break down the stigma surrounding obesity which is detrimental to the individual weight loss journeys of those who struggle on a daily basis with weight issues.