Obesity is a major public health and economic problem of global significance. Prevalence rates are increasing in all parts of the world, both in affluent Western countries and in poorer nations. Men, women and children are affected. Indeed, overweight, obesity and health problems associated with them are now so common that they are replacing the more traditional public health concerns such as under-nutrition and infectious disease as the most significant contributors to global ill health.
For those individuals and subgroups of the population who have already developed, or are at increased risk of developing, obesity and the associated health complications, obesity management programs within health care and community services are essential.
The effectiveness of such programs is likely to be enhanced if improved and extended training of all relevant health care workers is provided. Obesity needs to be viewed as a disease in its own right and one that warrants intervention even when comorbidities are not present. Negative attitudes of health care professionals towards the condition are not helpful