LANDSCAPE REVIEW OF OBESITY RESEARCH IN SCOTLAND: AN UPDATE

IN 2015 SCPHRP members Ruth Jepson, Michelle Estrade, Stephen Malden and Daryll Archibald carried out a landscape review of current and ongoing obesity research that has been conducted on Scottish populations in the last decade, on behalf of NHS Health Scotland. This research was intended to supplement revisions that were being made to Scotland’s Obesity Route Map. The review has since been updated to include research conducted up to January 2017, with a poster being presented at the 24th European Congress on Obesity in Porto, Portugal in May 2017.

Obesity System Map

Updated findings lead to much of the same conclusions that were drawn from the original review in 2015. Specifically, a substantial amount of observational/epidemiological research has been conducted in Scotland, indicating that there is an active research community that is monitoring trends in obesity and its associated factors. Most interventions focus on treating obesity in people who are already overweight/obese as opposed to preventing obesity amongst the general population. A number of interventions seem to focus only on one particular cause and pathway to obesity (such as diet or physical activity) instead of taking the various other causes and pathways to obesity into consideration. A useful resource that some readers may find interesting is the Foresight Obesity Systems Map. This resource demonstrates the various complex causes and pathways related to obesity that should be considered when developing interventions.
Lastly, there are currently no macro-level obesity interventions being implemented or evaluated in Scotland, which is likely due to the complexities of designing, implementing and evaluating such initiatives. Interventions in Scotland address obesity across the lifecourse from childhood to the elderly, however most interventions focus primarily on working-age adults and children. We at SCPHRP plan to continue to update this small piece of research every couple of years in the hope that it will be useful for researchers and practitioners who are interested in keeping track of what is happening in Scotland with regards to obesity research.
You can read the report here and for further information please contact Stephen.Malden@ed.ac.uk

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