BJSM with Dr Sandro Demaio: Time to get real about childhood obesity (Episode #347).


My podcast of the week this week discusses the rise of childhood obesity. This is a really interesting and important topic.
Childhood obesity is on the rise globally. Dr Sandro Demaio @sandrodemaio discusses how the true drivers are more about the environment than the individual. Therefore, interventions will be most effective if targeting the obesogenic environment and creating a healthier path of least resistance. Schooling can also act as an education to a healthy lifestyle, including mandatory guidelines on school catering, sport and education regarding nutrition and cooking. Dr Demaio also discusses ‘true pricing’, making sure at the point of consumption a product price pays resemblance to the true price of the product, not only to the individual but also to society as a whole, including funding towards the health consequencs of consuming that product.
The health impacts of a child with obesity is significant. The term ‘adult onset’ is no longer applicable for several metabolic diseases.
Dr Demaio discusses how he predicts a rise of preventive medicine specialists, driven by consumer demand. With populations wanting to keep healthy instead of being made better and an associated increased skill set needed amongst the medical community in lifestyle medicine. This really excited me, as having a whole speciality dedicated to lifestyle and preventative medicine would be something I’d jump to be involved and specialise in at any moment. I’d like to be able to dedicate my work to promoting wellness rather than treating disease.
He discusses how measures outside of what would be traditionally seen as the health sector can impact obesity rates. For me this resonated with my current module for my Masters in Public Health – Public Policy for Health.
I posted the front page of the Health in all policy WHO statement about making healthy choices the easiest path and how this involves way more than the health sector earlier this week for anyone who’s interested.
This podcast is a really clear discussion of a very important health care issue, so have a listen.