Obesity is a significant and growing public health issue in Wales, and the pandemic has further highlighted the increased risks of adverse outcomes for people living with obesity.
In 2020, it was reported that 61% of adults in Wales were classified as overweight or obese; with 36% classified as overweight, 22% classified as obese and 3% classified as morbidly obese. It is estimated that obesity costs the Welsh NHS £73 million a year, increasing to £86 million when including overweight, creating a burden on healthcare services.
Preventing obesity has been recognised as a complex challenge, with many contributing factors at the individual, community, societal and global levels. Committed to reversing the current trends of obesity, Welsh Government published the Health Weight Healthy Wales 2019 strategy and more recently the All Wales Weight Management Pathway 2021 (AWWMP).
The AWWMP focuses on an individual’s weight management journey from early intervention to specialist support. It recognises the importance of primary and community care, describing these settings as the first point of contact for people with health and wellbeing concerns.
The Primary Care Hub has developed two reports to highlight how primary and community care can support obesity prevention and weight management in Wales, and the support that the workforce needs to fulfil this important role.
This work is aligned with the objectives of the Healthy Weight Healthy Wales Strategy 2019 and is intended to support implementation of the All Wales Weight Management Pathway 2021.