camexpo panel debate to tackle “obesity epidemic”
With one in four adults now classified as obese in the UK, the nation’s expanding waistline is just one of the major health problems being tackled at this year’s camexpo – the UK’s leading integrative and natural health show and conference.
camexpo 2014, which takes place at the new venue of Olympia, London, on 4-5 October, will feature a host of expert Keynote speakers addressing some of the biggest issues facing the health care profession today – including cancer, auto-immunity and chronic disease. Obesity – one of the leading causes of preventable deaths and diseases in the UK – is the subject of the event’s first ever panel debate, which will feature Tam Fry, spokesman for the National Obesity Forum.
According to the latest statistics from The Chief Medical Officer (CMO) Professor Dame Sally Davies's report on the state of the public's health, 61.9% of adults and 28% of children aged between 2 and 15 are now overweight or obese in the UK. In just over thirty years, the number of obese adults has more than tripled to 25% of the population (compared to 7% in 1980). Whilst forecasts for the next thirty years and beyond could see that figure rise well pass 50%, according National Obesity Forum’s latest report – the State of the Nation's Waistline.
Published earlier this year, the forum’s report highlighted that there was “no quick fix”. It calls for more “hard hitting public health campaigns”, and “greater training” of family GPs to help patients manage their weight. If it is left unchecked, it predicts the obesity epidemic could reach unparalleled proportions by 2050 and see related health costs spiralling upward of £50bn a year.
Speaking ahead of his appearance at the show, Tam Fry says it’s unlikely that there will be any action to solve the UK’s “appalling” obesity problem this side of the 2015 general election.
“The National Obesity Forum is a charity, which was formed in 2000 to demand that government legislated decisively for the treatment/prevention of obesity,” says Fry. “The fact that the current epidemic has escalated hugely since then would indicate that its endeavours had been somewhat in vain. And you’d be right,”
Although successive administrations had promised much “but done comparatively little”, he says, he is hopeful that “advocacy will win out in the end”.
“I invite camexpo visitors to come up with a solution to end obesity that has eluded everyone else,” he says, “This panel session has been created to give you that chance. Use it."
The Obesity Panel Debate, in association with The National Obesity Forum, at camexpo will take place at 3.15pm on Sunday 5 October. Panellists include hormone health specialist Dr Alyssa Burns-Hill, Jayney Goddard – President of The Complementary Medical Association (The CMA), and Dr Robert Verkerk – executive & scientific director of campaign group Alliance for Natural Health International (ANH-Intl).
"The sooner the debate on obesity moves away from blaming excess calories, saturated fat and not enough exercise, and abandons a search for a one-size-fits-all solution, the sooner we'll see a downturn in the escalation of the condition," comments Verkerk.
"Obesity is a hugely complex process that has both multiple causes, and impacts multiple systems in the body. It’s complicated further by the fact that its triggers and mediators can vary considerably between individuals. One general theme that underpins the condition is the dysfunction caused by modern diets and lifestyles in the pathways we've inherited from our Paleolithic ancestors, that are designed to allow us to store and utilise energy efficiently.
"When looking at solutions, you can’t limit yourself to the physical. There’s a rapidly growing body of evidence showing that psychological and emotional triggers are often key — and these must be dealt with alongside factors like changes in dietary composition, eating frequency and physical activity. Such multi-pronged approaches benefit greatly from being individualised, especially where detailed knowledge of an individual’s genetic and environmental background is available," he says.
"The only health sector that actually offers reproducible, effective, sustainable strategies to combat obesity is complementary medicine," says the CMA's Jayney Goddard.
"Obesity is not simply a matter of overeating - it goes much deeper than that and if the mental/emotional and food addiction factors, which are the underlying cause of obesity, are not addressed sufferers are doomed to failure.
"This forthcoming panel debate at camexpo is an important and timely event which will undoubtedly be pivotal in showing the world what complementary, holistic strategies can do to realistically combat the obesity pandemic," she concludes.
The camexpo Keynote seminar programme is now available to view at www.camexpo.co.uk/seminars.
To register for an entry ticket to camexpo (including admission to the show’s two Keynote Theatres, sponsored by Revital), please visit www.camexpo.co.uk/register and use priority code CMEX588 to register in advance for £7.50 before 3 October.
camexpo will take place at the new venue of Olympia, London, on 4-5 October 2014.
 Chief Medical Officer annual report: surveillance volume 2012 (published 27 March 2014): www.gov.uk/government/publications/chief-medical-officer-annual-report-surveillance-volume-2012
 The State of the Nation's Waistline – Obesity in the UK: Analysis and Expectations (published January 2014): www.noaw.org.uk/news/new-report-treat-obesity-like-smoking-face-obesity-costs-exceeding-50-billion-2050
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