Rocky doctor weighs into the great weight debate
IT WAS sitting in her office 20 years ago that Dr Joan Chamberlain realised the obesity epidemic was weighing down the nation.
The Rockhampton GP said it was when she started to see overweight kids as young as five coming into her office that she knew the condition had reached its tipping point.
"We are now seeing a lot more young people who are quite obese; in the past it used to be just the middle aged," Dr Chamberlain said.
"You start reading about places where the next generation are dying off younger than the last and that is what we are starting to see as a distinct possibility here."
That is why the Northside Medical Plaza doctor is one of more than 300 GPs from around the country who recently gathered at the 2015 National Obesity Forum to highlight the importance of Australians utilising their doctors as a weight management resource.
The group has demanded action from governments and health care organisations to accept obesity as a chronic disease and to make policy changes.
These changes are needed to allow GPs to gain access to appropriate resources for their overweight and obese patients that will facilitate weight loss.
So far, Dr Chamberlain said she was shocked at how few people came forward to her asking for assistance with their weight.
"We are getting not as many as I would like, we do have some but they are usually only coming to help because they would like to lose some weight for a special function," she said.
"A lot of people are only after a quick fix.
"We have also got to change our culture; put your hand up and ask for help. Up until now, the only time assistance is given is when people are in the obese category."
The big issues
What are some of the more serious side effects of obesity?
- Type II diabetes
- High blood pressure
- Coronary heart disease
- Cancers (by 50%)
- High cholesterol (leading cause of heart attack)