As you may be aware, Senator Hon Bridget McKenzie called for this Obesity Summit, which was held in Canberra on the 15 February, 2019.
It was a great opportunity for The RACGP, and my talk was well received. My brief was "What are GPs doing well, and future opportunities".
The key take home points from my talk as summarised by Lynne Pezzullo, Lead Partner, Health Economics & Social Policy, Deloitte Access Economics were as follows:
- Adipose tissue/ fat cells is like real estate: it's all about location ! location! location! (thanks Arya Sharma). If an individual is carrying the excess weight ie adipose cells centrally-near their organs, this increases their risk of developing harmful health conditions such as T2DM, IHD, fatty liver, some cancers
- There is a need for GPs & all HCPs to do more, being quoted by my signature statement: "Measure! Identify! Treat!"
- Highlighted the inequity in service provision and treatment options to those who need it the most, including bringing to their attention:
- Modest weight loss of 5-10% is clinically meaningful and whilst there are 4 TGA approved anti-obesity medications in Australia, currently none are on the PBS
- Approximately 2% of PwO potentially eligible for bariatric metabolic surgery are actually accessing this effective treatment; of which only 15% are being done in public hospitals in Australia
- Invited the audience to use people first language and appropriate images of PwO in a bid to reduce stigma and shame.
The Senior Health advisor to both Hon McKenzie & Hon Myers have both already reached out, expressing an interest to continue the dialogue with the RACGP.