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      Recommendations from a Working Group on Obesity Care Competencies for Healthcare Education in the UK: A Report by the Steering Committee


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          Obesity significantly increases the risk of developing (or worsening) more than 200 chronic diseases, and it is also a risk factor for severe COVID-19. With the rising prevalence of obesity in the UK, there is a need to develop obesity care competencies that apply to healthcare professionals (HCPs) at all levels of the health service, to increase the capacity for contemporary, evidence-based treatment that is effective, compassionate, and avoids stigmatising patients.


          A UK Obesity Care Competencies Working Group consisting of experts by profession and experts by experience was created to provide a framework of obesity care competencies for HCPs involved in specialist obesity care (tiers 2–4 in the UK). The framework was adapted from a set of competencies recently published by the USA-based Obesity Medicine Education Collaborative (OMEC) and was intended to be adaptable to nurses and allied health professionals, as well as physicians, owing to the multidisciplinary team approach used in healthcare in the UK.


          The UK Obesity Care Competencies Working Group developed a set of 29 competencies, divided into five focal areas, namely obesity knowledge, patient care and procedural skills, practice-based learning and improvement, professionalism and interpersonal communication skills, and systems-based practice. The working group recommends that the obesity care competencies are targeted at HCPs training as specialists. The competencies could be imported into existing training programmes to help standardise obesity-related medical education and could also be used to direct a new General Practitioner with Extended Role (GPwER) qualification.


          This list of obesity care competencies aims to provide an initial framework to improve education for HCPs and therefore to improve patient care in obesity. The acceptance and integration of these competencies into the healthcare system should provide a stepping stone toward addressing trends in health inequality.

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          Obesity in patients with COVID-19: a systematic review and meta-analysis

          Background Obesity is common in patients with coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19). The effects of obesity on clinical outcomes of COVID-19 warrant systematical investigation. Objective This study explores the effects of obesity with the risk of severe disease among patients with COVID-19. Methods Body mass index (BMI) and degree of visceral adipose tissue (VAT) accumulation were used as indicators for obesity status. Publication databases including preprints were searched up to August 10, 2020. Clinical outcomes of severe COVID-19 included hospitalization, a requirement for treatment in an intensive care unit (ICU), invasive mechanical ventilation (IMV), and mortality. Risks for severe COVID-19 outcomes are presented as odds ratios (OR) and 95% confidence interval (95%CI) for cohort studies with BMI-defined obesity, and standardized mean difference (SMD) and 95%CI for controlled studies with VAT-defined excessive adiposity. Results A total of 45, 650 participants from 30 studies with BMI-defined obesity and 3 controlled studies with VAT-defined adiposity were included for assessing the risk of severe COVID-19. Univariate analyses showed significantly higher ORs of severe COVID-19 with higher BMI: 1.76 (95%: 1.21, 2.56, P = 0.003) for hospitalization, 1.67 (95%CI: 1.26, 2.21, P<0.001) for ICU admission, 2.19 (95%CI: 1.56, 3.07, P<0.001) for IMV requirement, and 1.37 (95%CI: 1.06, 1.75, P = 0.014) for death, giving an overall OR for severe COVID-19 of 1.67 (95%CI: 1.43, 1.96; P<0.001). Multivariate analyses revealed increased ORs of severe COVID-19 associated with higher BMI: 2.36 (95%CI: 1.37, 4.07, P = 0.002) for hospitalization, 2.32 (95%CI: 1.38, 3.90, P = 0.001) for requiring ICU admission, 2.63 (95%CI: 1.32, 5.25, P = 0.006) for IMV support, and 1.49 (95%CI: 1.20, 1.85, P<0.001) for mortality, giving an overall OR for severe COVID-19 of 2.09 (95%CI: 1.67, 2.62; P<0.001). Compared to non-severe COVID-19 patients, severe COVID-19 cases showed significantly higher VAT accumulation with a SMD of 0.49 for hospitalization (95% CI: 0.11, 0.87; P = 0.011), 0.57 (95% CI: 0.33, 0.81; P<0.001) for requiring ICU admission and 0.37 (95% CI: 0.03, 0.71; P = 0.035) for IMV support. The overall SMD for severe COVID-19 was 0.50 (95% CI: 0.33, 0.68; P<0.001). Conclusions Obesity increases risk for hospitalization, ICU admission, IMV requirement and death among patients with COVID-19. Further, excessive visceral adiposity appears to be associated with severe COVID-19 outcomes. These findings emphasize the need for effective actions by individuals, the public and governments to increase awareness of the risks resulting from obesity and how these are heightened in the current global pandemic.
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            Global pandemics interconnected — obesity, impaired metabolic health and COVID-19

            Obesity and impaired metabolic health are established risk factors for the non-communicable diseases (NCDs) type 2 diabetes mellitus, cardiovascular disease, neurodegenerative diseases, cancer and nonalcoholic fatty liver disease, otherwise known as metabolic associated fatty liver disease (MAFLD). With the worldwide spread of severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2), obesity and impaired metabolic health also emerged as important determinants of severe coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19). Furthermore, novel findings indicate that specifically visceral obesity and characteristics of impaired metabolic health such as hyperglycaemia, hypertension and subclinical inflammation are associated with a high risk of severe COVID-19. In this Review, we highlight how obesity and impaired metabolic health increase complications and mortality in COVID-19. We also summarize the consequences of SARS-CoV-2 infection for organ function and risk of NCDs. In addition, we discuss data indicating that the COVID-19 pandemic could have serious consequences for the obesity epidemic. As obesity and impaired metabolic health are both accelerators and consequences of severe COVID-19, and might adversely influence the efficacy of COVID-19 vaccines, we propose strategies for the prevention and treatment of obesity and impaired metabolic health on a clinical and population level, particularly while the COVID-19 pandemic is present.
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              Why primary obesity is a disease?

              Obesity must be considered a real pathology. In the world wide, obesity represent one of the major public health issue associated with increased morbidity and mortality. Overweight or obesity, in fact, significantly increases the risk of contracting diseases, such as: arterial hypertension, dyslipidemia, type 2 diabetes mellitus, coronary heart disease, cerebral vasculopathy, gallbladder lithiasis, arthropathy, ovarian polycytosis, sleep apnea syndrome, and some neoplasms. Despite numerous informative campaigns, unfortunately, the fight against obesity does not seem to work: in the last years, the prevalence continued to increase. The progressive and rapid increase in the incidence of obesity, which has characterized most of the economically advanced countries in the last decade, has been the main stimulus for the research of the mechanisms underlying this pathology and the related disorders. The aims of this review is to provide a revision of the literature in order to define obesity as diseases, secondly to highlight the limits and the inaccuracy of common tools used for the diagnosis of obesity, and as a third thing to strengthen the concept of the complexity of obesity as a disease among political health care providers. Obesity may be viewed as a multifactorial pathology and chronic low-grade inflammatory disease. In fact, people affected by obesity have greater risk of developing comorbility and morbility, respect to healthy. Hence, the absolute therapeutic benefit is directly proportional to the basic risk. So, internationally interest on early diagnosis of obesity is growing to avoid under- and overdiagnosis consequences. Therefore, the consequences are an aggravation of the disease and an increase in obesity related pathology like diabetes, cardiovascular disease, and cancer. The most widely used parameter for diagnosis, body mass index (BMI) is not suitable for assessing the body fat. In fact, several studies demonstrate that BMI alone cannot define obesity, which consists not so much in weight gain as in excess fat mass. The use of suitable tools for the assessment of fat mass percentage combined with clinical and genetic analysis allowed to identify different phenotypes of obesity, which explain the various paradoxes of obesity. It is essential to adopt all possible strategies to be able to combat obesity, ameliorate the suffering of patients, and reduce the social and treatment costs of obesity.

                Author and article information

                Adv Ther
                Adv Ther
                Advances in Therapy
                Springer Healthcare (Cheshire )
                22 April 2022
                22 April 2022
                : 1-12
                [1 ]Rotherham Institute for Obesity, Clifton Medical Centre, The Health Village, Doncaster Gate, Rotherham, S65 1DA UK
                [2 ]College of Contemporary Health, London, UK
                [3 ]Diabetes and Obesity Nurse Consultant, Essex, UK
                [4 ]GRID grid.9909.9, ISNI 0000 0004 1936 8403, University of Leeds, ; Leeds, UK
                [5 ]GRID grid.415967.8, ISNI 0000 0000 9965 1030, Leeds Teaching Hospitals NHS Trust, ; Leeds, UK
                [6 ]GRID grid.6572.6, ISNI 0000 0004 1936 7486, University of Birmingham, ; Birmingham, UK
                [7 ]GRID grid.83440.3b, ISNI 0000000121901201, University College London, ; London, UK
                [8 ]GRID grid.12362.34, ISNI 0000 0000 9280 9077, University of Wales Trinity Saint David, ; Carmarthen, UK
                [9 ]GRID grid.425956.9, ISNI 0000 0004 0391 2646, Present Address: Novo Nordisk, ; Søborg, Denmark
                Author information
                © The Author(s) 2022

                Open AccessThis article is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License, which permits any non-commercial use, sharing, adaptation, distribution and reproduction in any medium or format, as long as you give appropriate credit to the original author(s) and the source, provide a link to the Creative Commons licence, and indicate if changes were made. The images or other third party material in this article are included in the article's Creative Commons licence, unless indicated otherwise in a credit line to the material. If material is not included in the article's Creative Commons licence and your intended use is not permitted by statutory regulation or exceeds the permitted use, you will need to obtain permission directly from the copyright holder. To view a copy of this licence, visit http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc/4.0/.

                : 3 November 2021
                : 1 March 2022
                Funded by: Novo Nordisk UK
                Brief Report

                competencies, education, obesity, training


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