Highlights from the roundtable on abdominal obesity, London

The International Chair on Cardiometabolic Risk (ICCR) has been working to engage key influencers and decision makers in the health and nutrition sectors in the UK.

As part of this, the ICCR hosted a roundtable in London in April 2014 which focused on the ICCR’s three key pillars: Eat Well, Drink Well and Move. These pillars encompass the importance of healthy eating, drinking water in place of sugar-sweetened beverages, being active and importantly in addition to this, measuring waist circumference as well as BMI.

At the roundtable, key actions were established which can be taken forward by roundtable attendees and the organizations they represent to combat the obesity epidemic faced by the UK.

  1. Mount a campaign to encourage people to drink water rather than sugar-sweetened beverages;
  2. Ensure that the messages are simple. Influence the messaging which is already used (e.g. by NHS Choices and the wider health sector);
  3. Work with the Department of Health to change the visuals on the ‘”eat well” plate to include a glass of water to remind people that drinking water is healthy hydration;
  4. Approach the media to explore developing a campaign to encourage people to make simple, healthy lifestyle changes such as cutting on sugary drinks;
  5. Consider how the ICCR’s manifesto can be used as part of a pre-election campaign to target key political parties;
  6. Develop educational campaigns on the health risk of abdominal obesity (large waistline), sedentary behaviours, pour eating and drinking habits;
  7. Work with professional and policy bodies, like the Local Government Association and Public Health England, to support efforts to encourage healthy diet, drinking water over sugar-sweetened beverages and being physically active;
  8. Work with children as early as possible (ideally at pre-school or reception) to teach them about nutrition.

The roundtable was attended by the following people:

  • Jean-Pierre Després, Scientific Director, International Chair on Cardiometabolic Risk
  • Jean-Claude Coubard, Executive Director, International Chair on Cardiometabolic Risk
  • Philippa Blowfield, Paediatrician and representative for the The Royal College of Paediatrics and Child Health
  • Oliver Francis, Knowledge Broker, Centre for Diet and Activity Research (CEDAR)
  • Tam Fry, Spokesman for National Obesity Forum and expert advisory team member of Action on Sugar
  • Linda Main, Dietetic Adviser, HEART UK
  • Aseem Malhotra, Interventional cardiology specialist registrar and Consultant Clinical Associate for the Academy of Medical Royal Colleges
  • Andrea Martinez-Inchausti, Assistant Director of Food Policy, British Retail Consortium (BRC) Food Network
  • Naveed Sattar, Professor of Metabolic Medicine, University of Glasgow
  • Chris Steele, Media doctor, ITV This Morning
  • Jonathan Valabhji, National Clinical Director for Obesity and Diabetes for NHS England
  • Antonia Charles, Consultant, Grayling
  • James Ford, Managing Director for health, Grayling and facilitator of the roundtable