The College joins a call for new national Clinical Practice Guidelines for the management of overweight and obesity

Date published:
04 Mar 2021

In the past decade the number of Australians living with obesity has more than doubled, from 2.7 million in 2007-08 to over six million people today. We now have 900,000 more Australians living with obesity. Obesity affects all sections of society, but rates are higher in those with relative socio-economic disadvantage and lower levels of educational attainment, those living in regional and remote areas, and among Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples.  

It is the time to do something significant about an issue that, one way or another, affects everyone. It has become one of Australia’s most important equity challenges and most expensive preventable national health problems. New clinical guidelines will be an essential step towards making health professionals up to date with the best practice approaches to dealing with obesity.  

We are concerned that there are currently no official clinical guidelines or framework for healthcare professionals on how to assess, help and manage people with obesity. The most recent national guidelines were rescinded by the National Health and Medical Research Council in 2018 after the standard five-year timeframe and there appear to be no plans to commission/issue new guidelines.

An evidence-based approach to supporting people with obesity will help improve people’s health and quality of life, reduce harmful stigma, and decrease wasteful investments in ineffective approaches. This would be an important tool for ‘building back better’ post COVID-19 in Australia.

On World Obesity Day 2021, the College and other key medical, specialist and consumer bodies issued a call for official clinical guidelines on how to assess, help and manage people with obesity.

Read the National call for action: Clinical guidelines for overweight and obesity

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