Obesity rates across the UK have increased due to the COVID-19 pandemic, which increases the risk of serious illness and morbidity related to the virus.
The Liverpool Obesity Research Network (LORN) is a network of research, healthcare and community organisations working to tackle obesity across the Liverpool City Region. Led by the University of Liverpool, LORN is working to reduce obesity rates through a collaborative, multidisciplinary approach.
The University of Liverpool’s Dr Emma Boyland said: “LORN is at the heart of a range of multidisciplinary obesity research projects with regional, national and international impact. Now more than ever we need to work together with partner organisations and groups to stimulate new research activity in Liverpool and the north west – practical solutions are urgently needed to help people achieve and maintain a healthy weight, undertake proper treatment and reverse the obesity crisis.”
Alder Hey’s Dr Senthil Senniappan said: “People living in deprived areas are more than twice as likely to have obesity. This complex and multidimensional issue has, among other things, biological, genetic, psychological, genetic and social determinants. Our policies should be robust enough to create a healthy environment, prioritising obesity as a health issue to build the right support system.”
Professor John Wilding, who leads clinical research into obesity, diabetes and endocrinology at the University of Liverpool, took part in a special episode of the Royal College of Physicians Medicine podcasts for World Obesity Day 2021. You can listen to the podcast here.
University of Liverpool Researchers are working on REJOIN, a project that involves developing a person-centred intervention that can support people living with obesity with a number of barriers to healthy eating and physical activity.
REJION has been informed by a study from the same researchers into obesity, eating behaviour and physical activity in UK adults during the initial COVID-19 UK lockdown. The study identified a need to understand the impact that the COVID-19 crisis may have on population level weight gain and to develop tools to support weight management at times when usual support systems may not be accessible.
The LFC Foundation and Alder Hey Children’s Hospital are working to expand their MOVE weight management programme. MOVE is co-created by LFC Foundation and Alder Hey’s endocrinology team to support young people with complex health conditions and their families, and give them a better understanding of health-related topics.
It aims to tackle obesity by running community based sessions, which include the whole family and provide specific nutritional support to individuals. The new developments, funded by the Premier League Professional Footballers Association and Alder Hey, include an exercise referral programme to young people with respiratory conditions and a pilot of a new weight management programme to young people who are overweight.
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