Oral health & overall health : obesity

By February 16, 2022 No Comments

Obesity is an increasing issue across the world with over 50 percent of people estimated to be overweight, a condition which increases a person’s risk of developing diseases such as type 2 diabetes, heart disease, and cancer.

Given the increasing prevalence of obesity-related health issues, a new study out of Loughborough University in the UK is exploring the role dentists might be able to play in providing weight management interventions to their patients.

While GPs have long used their consultations to raise issues of weight management with their patients, the role dentists can play in such a setting have not been fully explored to date.

Traditionally dentists tend to focus, understandably, on the oral health of their patients, addressing issues such as smoking cessation and over-consumption of sugary drinks and junk food, the latter being a contributor to tooth decay, and ultimately to obesity too.

Quoted in an article on the study in News Medical: Life Sciences, lead researcher Amanda Daley, a Professor of Behavioural Medicine based in the University’s Centre for Lifestyle Medicine and Behaviour (CLiMB) had this to say about what the UK-based study might achieve.

“The case for dentists to be involved in reducing population obesity is strong. Like GPs, dentists are part of primary care health services and are ideally positioned to screen and intervene to reduce obesity.

“They typically consult with most of the population at least yearly, meaning they could routinely embed efficient monitoring of weight into dental health services and offer interventions at scale to both adults and children.

“If we are serious about reducing obesity in the population it will require an ‘all hands-on deck’ approach, including active advocacy from dental health professionals.”

For more on this story, go to “New study to explore the role of dentists in reducing obesity in the UK”

Australian Dental Association “What role can dentists play in reducing obesity among their patients?”

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