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RCOG statement on the Academy of Medical Royal Colleges’ report on tackling obesity

News 18 February 2013

The Academy of Medical Royal Colleges (AoMRC) today publish the report Measuring up: the medical profession's prescription for the nation's obesity crisis following a 6-month inquiry by a steering group comprising representatives from 20 of the Royal Medical Colleges and Faculties.

The report makes a number of recommendations for healthcare professionals, local and national government, industry and schools to help tackle the nation’s obesity crisis.

Recommendations include:

  • Nutritional standards for food in hospitals
  • A ban on new fast food outlets being located close to schools and colleges
  • A duty on all sugary soft drinks, increasing the price by at least 20%, to be piloted
  • Traffic light food labelling to include calorie information for children and adolescents – with visible calorie indicators for restaurants, especially fast food outlets
  • £100m in each of the next three years to be spent on increasing provision of weight management services across the country
  • A ban on advertising of foods high in saturated fats, sugar and salt before 9pm
  • Existing mandatory food- and nutrient-based standards in England to be statutory in free schools and academies

Dr Tony Falconer, President of the Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists, said:

“We welcome this report and hope this will be an ongoing campaign to raise awareness of the health implications of obesity.

“Obesity has a major impact on women’s health. Previous Confidential Enquiries into Maternal and Child Health report have shown that there has been an increase in maternal obesity over the last few years.

“These high-risk pregnancies carry an increased risk of complications including venous thromboembolism (VTE), sepsis, gestational diabetes, hypertensive disorders and heart disease. It is also associated with other morbidities such as miscarriage, stillbirth and poor outcome during the induction of labour.

“Women are therefore advised to achieve a healthy weight before conception in order to have better pregnancy outcomes.

“Obesity also impacts on gynaecological health and some cancers are associated with obesity including breast and endometrial. Moreover obesity can also increase the risk of type 2 diabetes, digestive problems, urinary incontinence, pelvic floor disorders, endometrial polyps and fibroids.

“In order to tackle the rising obesity epidemic it is important to encourage women to adopt healthy lifestyles through regular moderate physical activity and eating well. This approach should be adopted throughout a woman’s life and is a key message from our Working Party report High Quality Women’s Health Care published in 2010. In this model, healthy lifestyle messages are promoted throughout a woman’s life at primary care level and within managed women’s health networks.

“We support the recommendations made in this report and believe that the appropriate support structures need to be in place to enable the general population to eat well and to increase their levels of physical activity. This could include ensuring that the cost of healthy foods is cost-effective for consumers and individuals have good access to a range of sports facilities so that they can choose the activities that suit them.”


For further information, please contact the RCOG Media and PR team on +44 20 7772 6300 or email

To read the full report please click here