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KESS - OBESITY: KEY CONSIDERATIONS

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Parliament Buildings

Stormont

BT4 3XX

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1.30pm – RaISe – Welcome and Opening Remarks

1.45pm - Dr Toni McAloon, Prof Vivien Coates and Prof Donna Fitzsimons (QUB) - Halting the rise of Obesity: making every clinical contact count

Obesity is a major 21st century health challenge, contributing to chronic illnesses and presents a serious threat to world health. Obesity is associated with more deaths than underweight/malnutrition, imposing a serious financial burden on struggling health services. Northern Ireland has 60% prevalence of adult overweight/obesity and reduction is a priority in the HSC Commissioning Plan Direction 2016/17. Global, national and local guidelines aim to halt its rise by 2025; yet no country is on track to achieve these. Current obesity reduction strategies are failing; with professionals challenged to promote best practice. Clinicians’ beliefs/attitudes are potential barriers to implementing effective strategies. Whilst current research emphasises clinician anti-fat bias, there is no triangulation of bias with clinical outcomes to determine impact. This presentation presents innovative research addressing this deficit through estimating the degree of anti-fat bias in a multidisciplinary sample and examining associations with clinical behaviour. These findings break new ground and contribute to the development and implementation of ‘Transforming Your Care’ agenda and future policies to reduce obesity and associated health care costs. This work is timely with the chief nurses of the 5 countries, including the Republic of Ireland, calling for professional action on obesity reduction as a 2016 priority.

2.05pm - Prof Marie Murphy (Ulster) - Sit Less - Move More. Reducing sedentary behaviour to improve health in overweight and obesity

There is strong relationship between time spent in sitting and many health outcomes including, cardiovascular disease and type 2 diabetes. Sedentary behaviour is defined as waking activity with very low levels of energy expenditure and a sitting or reclining posture (SBRN 2012). In modern society sedentary behaviour in adults has become increasingly prevalent with TV viewing and other screen-focused behaviours, prolonged sitting in the workplace, and time spent sitting in cars taking up most of our waking hours. Objective data suggests that UK men and women actually spend approximately 7.5 and 7 hours per day respectively being sedentary (Ekelund 2009). Conversely, interrupting sedentary time and/or replacing it with light-intensity activity has been shown to improve several markers of health. Obesity may act as a mediator between sedentary behaviours and negative health outcomes with more sedentary people more likely to become overweight and obese which then has an impact on health (Same 2016). This presentation will review a range of local, national and international interventions aimed at the individual, environmental and policy levels to reduce sedentary behaviour making policy recommendations to guide future approaches to this important objective.

2.25pm – Discussion

2.45pm – Comfort Break

2.55pm - Prof Alison Gallagher, Dr Angela Carlin and Prof Marie Murphy (Ulster) - Teenage girls heading for a lifetime of ill-health. Using the school environment to enhance health-related behaviours: shared experiences and suggested future approaches

Aside from home, children and adolescents spend more time in school than in any other setting. As such schools represent a key environment for promoting of health-related behaviours. Additionally, use of the school-setting has the potential to overcome health inequalities, as all children and adolescents are able to participate irrespective of socioeconomic status. Central to success is ensuring interventions are both effective as well as sustainable in the longer-term. It is important that policy makers, researchers and practitioners actively consult with their target population to gain an understanding of how best to promote the health-behaviour, as well as identify any barriers/ facilitators, thereby informing the content of future interventions. In the UK, children from Northern Ireland are least likely to meet current physical activity recommendations than their counterparts elsewhere. Transition from primary to second-level education represents a time when physical inactivity and sedentary behaviours may increase, especially in adolescent girls. This presentation will share recent data on the development and implementation of a peer- led school-based brisk walking intervention (the WISH study) and will review evidence in relation to what works and suggested ways forward which target this key environment as a means of effectively promoting positive health-related behaviours.

3.15pm - Dr Liz Simpson, Dr Marian McLaughlin and Prof Tony Cassidy (Ulster) - Health psychology: Behaviour change for health and well-being in adults and children in Northern Ireland

Reducing health inequalities and promoting well-being is a main focus for Government health policies in Northern Ireland. Many of the chronic health conditions that are prevalent in our society today, such as obesity, coronary heart disease and diabetes, all have one thing in common, they can be linked to poor lifestyle choices such as smoking, consumption of unhealthy foods and being sedentary. A number of health psychology researchers are working in the area of behaviour change within Northern Ireland. The aim of this seminar is to provide an overview of how health psychology theories are being used to design more effective interventions to improve health and well-being in different groups and across a range of health related behaviours. It is worth noting that some theories of behaviour change such as The Theory of Planned Behaviour (TPB) has been endorsed by the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) as an evidence-based way of predicting health related behaviour and a framework for designing behaviour change interventions. Within this seminar, we will look at how theories of behaviour change are being used, and in collaboration with Public Health bodies such as Cancer Focus NI, the Public Health Agency and Chest Heart and Stroke NI to develop and deliver more effective behaviour change interventions focusing on physical activity, dietary intake and e-cigarette use. Such theories can be applied to a number of health related behaviours, both at a community and clinical setting, that represent health inequalities and considerable risk for the development of chronic conditions, such as obesity and coronary heart disease and poor health outcomes. This presentation will showcase ongoing research and how health psychology can contribute to Public health in Northern Ireland.

3.35pm – Discussion

3.55pm – RaISe - Closing Remarks

4.00pm – Networking and Refreshments

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Parliament Buildings

Stormont

BT4 3XX

United Kingdom

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