Steve-Rowlands-2014_WEBDecember – The news themes they aren’t a changing

As it is now December the ‘Mo’ has gone leaving a pleasantly bald top lip. I had some interesting comments regarding the appendage while it was with me, some of which achieved the intended purpose of highlighting men’s health. Perhaps the most damaging was from a member of staff who, in the last week of November, stopped me, stared at me and said: “I bet you can’t wait for December!”

Interesting health issues coming out in the news.

The Secretary of State turning up at an A&E department with an unwell child on a Sunday afternoon, and somehow attempting to defend his corner, despite previously encouraging the public that doing just that was not the appropriate use of A&E facilities.

NICE telling us that we need to carry out more bariatric surgery, as we are all about to become diabetic because we are too fat.

Professor Roger Williams is telling us that we all need liver scans because we drink too much alcohol and we are too fat, and as mentioned in my last blog, the NHS is going to be bankrupt because we are too fat.

There seems to be a bit of a theme here… ‘We are too fat’.

Dieting alone cannot possibly work because if it did none of us would be overweight and there would only be one diet book in print instead of the thousands currently present in any bookshop you walk into. There is no doubt that people on strict diets lose weight but it is also clear that there is a rebound weight increase when they stop, and this type of ‘Yo-Yo’ weight management is detrimental to overall health. The other problem with dieting is that you are constantly thinking about food and, inevitably, constantly hungry, which makes success in sustaining your diet nigh on impossible.

Personally, I have the appetite of a horse and find I can only maintain a reasonable weight by following Michael Mosley’s 5:2 diet. I have been doing so since September 2012 and find it easy to maintain. Happily, I can report that my weight is now stable after an initial loss of over a stone.

However the real solution to any weight problem is lifestyle: eating smaller portions, not grazing between meals and taking appropriate exercise.

To me, as a GP, it’s very clear. If you are too fat you need to lose weight; the state does not need to lose weight for you.

Another item in the news this week: It is safer for healthy women to have babies in a midwife led unit or at home according to a NICE report.

Low risk Mums to be ie those with straightforward pregnancies, and (interestingly) those who have a BMI of less than 30, are better off in maternity led units.

Another good reason to keep that weight down.