Kings College London, UK
Alison Burton Shepherd is a Nurse Tutor at the Florence Nightingale School of Nursing and Midwifery Kings College London. She currently teaches pre and post registration nursing students lecturing mainly in nutrition. As a Registered Nutritionist (Scientist) she is a keen freelance author and currently has 50 peer-reviewed nutrition related publications. She is on the Editorial Board for Complete Nutrition in the UK and also for the Journal of Food and Nutritional Disorders (OMICS) in the USA. She is also a Queens Nurse.
Obesity is one of the biggest health challenges in the 21st century which is set to worsen if action is not taken. Obesity is associated with a wide range of physical problems including type II diabetes, cardiovascular disease and some forms of cancer. Furthermore this burden of disease also carries social stigma and can have an impact on the economy through loss of working days and higher benefits. Despite the many treatments and management strategies available, there is widespread confusion concerning how best to deal with the obesity crisis with conflicting advice being given to both the general public and healthcare professionals alike. Should obese clients be simply told to “eat more healthily and take more exercise”? Is drug treatment the answer to sustained weight loss or best given as an adjunct? Are behavioural interventions such as cognitive behavioral therapy and motivational interviewing the way forward? This presentation will aim to address these questions and will also consider the evidence surrounding both bariatric surgery and more recently the use of an obesity vaccine in managing this ever increasing public health issue.