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Obesity Multistate Research Projects. Home Blog About Let's Move En com,unity. McDonald, M.

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Flegal K, Carroll M, Ogden C, Curtin L: Prevalence and trends in obesity among US adults, Walls H, Magliano D, Stevenson C, Backholer K, Mannan H, Shaw J, et al: Projected progression of the prevalence of obesity in Australia. Obesity Silver Spring.

Proietto J: Why staying lean is not a matter of ethics. Download references. HLW was supported by a National Health and Medical Research Council and National Heart Foundation scholarship, and a National Health and Medical Research Council grant No.

AP was supported by a VicHealth fellowship. We wish to thank the anonymous reviewers for their insightful comments and the improvement that these have made to the manuscript. Repatriation Hospital, The Department of Medicine at Austine Hospital, Heidelberg, Victoria, , Australia.

You can also search for this author in PubMed Google Scholar. Correspondence to Helen L Walls. JP is the Chair of the Optifast Medical Advisory Board for Nestle Australia. JJM and JP were past members of the Medical Advisory Board for Sibutramine for Abbott. HLW wrote the manuscript.

All authors contributed conceptually to the article and reviewed drafts of the manuscript. This article is published under license to BioMed Central Ltd.

Reprints and permissions. Walls, H. et al. Public health campaigns and obesity - a critique. BMC Public Health 11 , Download citation. Received : 26 July Accepted : 27 February Published : 27 February Anyone you share the following link with will be able to read this content:.

Sorry, a shareable link is not currently available for this article. Provided by the Springer Nature SharedIt content-sharing initiative. View archived comments 1. Skip to main content. Search all BMC articles Search. Download PDF. Abstract Background Controlling obesity has become one of the highest priorities for public health practitioners in developed countries.

Discussion To date there is little evidence that community-based interventions and social marketing campaigns specifically targeting obesity provide substantial or lasting benefit. Summary A more appropriate strategy would be to enact high-level policy and legislative changes to alter the obesogenic environments in which we live by providing incentives for healthy eating and increased levels of physical activity.

Background The increasing prevalence of obesity is now the target of public health effort in most developed countries [ 1 ]. Discussion Community-based interventions and social marketing campaigns for obesity reduction Community-based interventions are strategies that engage with whole 'communities', conceptualised along geographic boundaries eg.

Examples of such interventions include: the building of sporting facilities and playgrounds, mapping out of walking itineraries, and the hiring of sports instructors; the offer of cooking classes to families, the offer to 'at risk' families of counselling and overweight children encouraged to see a doctor [ 16 , 17 ]; changes to canteen menus, the introduction of fruit to canteen menus, reductions in television watching and increases in physical activity after school [ 18 ].

High-risk approaches to obesity reduction The limited success of community-based programmes and social marketing campaigns is matched by equally serious limitations in the 'high-risk' approach to severely obese patients [ 34 , 40 , 60 ].

Proposed approach Given the uncertainty of the balance between 'benefit' and harm associated with community-based programmes and social marketing campaigns that specifically target the undesirability of obesity, the approach to controlling the increasing prevalence of this condition should shift towards dietary and physical activity interventions where there is a better established evidence base and a stronger prospect of benefit [ 2 , 61 , 82 — 88 ].

Summary Community-based programmes, social marketing campaigns and associated media focussing on the undesirability of obesity are poorly supported by existing evidence, and have the potential for harm. References Backholer K, Walls H, Magliano D, Peeters A: Setting population targets for measuring successful obesity prevention.

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View author publications. Additional information Competing interests JP is the Chair of the Optifast Medical Advisory Board for Nestle Australia. Authors' contributions HLW wrote the manuscript.

Rights and permissions This article is published under license to BioMed Central Ltd. About this article Cite this article Walls, H. Copy to clipboard. Comments View archived comments 1.

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