So I was fortunate enough to be picked to run the London marathon 2020 in aid of the SaTH charity, which I am absolutely over the moon about! Why did I want to do this? Well, I am passionate about health and wellbeing and everyone having the opportunity to improve their health to feel and live better. And what better way to show it, by running a marathon!
As a new member of the Bariatric Department at SaTH, I support obese individuals who want to improve their health and change their lifestyles for the better. We have recently found out that our department is to start a new targeted weight management service. This is a very exciting opportunity, to help patients (and potentially their families) who are struggling with excess weight and health conditions through excess weight, learn to lose weight well and sustain this weight loss through sensible and sustainable diet and lifestyle changes.
I believe in eating well and being physically active, not just as a message to tell people but as way to live because it makes us feel better and in this day and age that's very important. A marathon is a good representation of what our patients go through on their weight loss journey. It takes time, dedication, commitment, perseverance and not without its barriers.
We all hit walls, as I'm sure I will both in the training and whilst running the marathon, but its about how we deal with the ups and downs of our journey, to embrace the tears and smiles and keep pushing past the barriers, to achieve our goals that matter.
I'm ready to give it my all to represent our Bariatric Department and SaTH to help the people of Shropshire, Wales and Telford and Wrekin to lead more healthful lives and I would love for you to support me in this journey by sponsoring me whatever you can give to help me raise £2,000 for the health and wellbeing of everyone in our hospitals and communities!
Obesity is an individual, community and public health concern that affects adults and more worryingly children. Recent government data reported that 64% of adults and 30% of children aged 2-15 years in England are currently overweight or obese.
In Shropshire, Telford and Wrekin NHS figures for the period March 2017/ 18 reported that people treated for obesity as a primary or secondary diagnosis for every 100,000 residents was 1,567 for Shropshire and 2,018 for Telford & Wrekin, which is an increase on the previous 12 month period. This isn't surprising, given that data published by PHE for 2017/18 has shown that Shropshire has the highest percentage of adults (aged 18+) that are overweight or obese compared to rest of the West Midlands area, at 73.2%, and 2nd highest for England as a whole, which is pretty scary stuff!
Obesity increases risk for several preventable health conditions including type 2 diabetes, cardiovascular disease and certain cancers. Obesity is also strongly associated with mental health conditions such as depression, stress and anxiety. The cost of obesity is high with the NHS spending an estimated £6.1 billion on obesity related ill health in 2014/15. Furthermore, between April 2017 and December 2018, 10,660 hospital admissions were directly attributable to obesity, and 7,110 where obesity was a factor. By 2050 the cost of obesity is projected to reach £9.7 billion for the NHS and £49.9 billion for the wider cost to society.
Despite what many may think, weight loss and maintenance is not easy and neither is Bariatric surgery an easy option or choice. Both require a long term commitment that takes hard work, dedication and determination to get there and are not without highs and lows along the way. Despite my short time with the service, I am inspired by our patients and their individual journeys and this prompted me to challenge myself with a personal goal and journey of my own in 2020.