This is the question we posed at the Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Glasgow on Friday 22nd April.
Obesity is one of the biggest public health threats we face in Scotland. The scale of the problem has reached crisis and its effects are felt across all areas of our society and economy. Yet, despite the best efforts of many, overall obesity levels continue to rise.
So perhaps it’s time to pool skills and expertise to turn around the direction we are taking as a country; to get started by looking for examples of success in other areas of public health; to explore how others have achieved their goals and to seek out new approaches?
The obvious starting point is the long-running and hugely successful campaign on smoking in Scotland. In 2016 Scotland celebrates 10 years of being smoke-free in public places. This is a tremendous success and is, in large part, down to the success of collaborations. Sheila Duffy, Chief Executive of ASH Scotland, will be providing her insight into how an alliance has helped the campaign on tackling tobacco use.
So what opportunities could be opened up by creating an ‘obesity alliance’ for Scotland? What benefits could it create? Is there a desire for such a collaborative approach? These are some of the questions we will be exploring today.
We are excited to be looking at new approaches to tackling obesity in Scotland and will be sharing outcomes and next steps from today’s event over the coming few weeks.
“Collaborative advantage can achieve higher level objectives for society as a whole." Chris Huxham, Emeritus Professor, Strathclyde Business School