Obesity is the biggest potential threat to women’s health and should be considered as a national priority, Dame Sally Davies, the chief medical officer of England has stated.
Dame Sally Davies said women should lead healthier lives as it effects the future generations. She urged government to include obesity in the national risk planning along with flooding or major epidemics of disease.
Reportedly, 64% of women aged 34 to 44 and 71% of women aged 45 to 54 were categorized into obese or overweight in England in 2013. Obesity increases the risk of chronic diseases including breast cancer, heart disease and type-2 diabetes.
Dame Sally stressed that women had to look after their physical and mental health during pregnancy for children. If a woman is obese during pregnancy, research shows the chances of miscarriage and premature birth are more. Apparently, a women’s health during pregnancy also has an impact on the child’s health.
A pregnant woman’s health affects the child conditions inside the womb that can result in long lasting consequences for the child’s health including the risk of obesity or type-2 diabetes.
Dame Sally added that pregnant women should have healthy diet and vegetables and avoid alcohol. The report makes 17 recommendations to a wide range of health issues. She also emphasized on early diagnosis and treatment of eating disorders such as bulimia, anorexia and binge-eating, which are more common in women when compared to men.
Dame Sally recommended that people with eating disorder can access a new and improved form of psychological therapy, known as CBT-E. The therapy is outlined to treat eating disorders. The treatment is available to all age groups across the country.
CBT-E is a one-to-one psychological therapy that focuses on changing the patient’s vision on body and aiding them to accept their bodies as they are. The E stands for enhanced since it is custom-made to the individual to help to them know the best ways of thinking, behaving and feeling. Engaging patients in the process and preventing any relapses is the key purpose of the therapy.
Recent studies have shown that the therapy works for all eating disorders with a 66% success rate for people with binge-eating and bulimia disorders. The treatment lasts for five to nine months and can be used for children more than 14 years old.
She added that entire society should react to prevent obesity and its associated problems from shortening women’s live and affecting quality of life.