LONDON, January 13, 2016 /PRNewswire/ --
The National Institute for Health Research (NIHR) has issued a national call for new research to address UK obesity levels, which have almost trebled in the last 30 years.
With over 60 percent of the adult population either overweight or obese and more than 2.7 million people diagnosed with type 2 diabetes, the health burden and economic impact of obesity in the UK are increasing.
The NIHR call is asking for research into the evaluation of interventions or services for the prevention and treatment of obesity in adults and children.
Dr Jonathan Sheffield, Chief Executive of the NIHR Clinical Research Network, believes clinical research can help to reframe the obesity debate:
"We've talked about the benefits of a healthy diet and regular exercise for a long time. While the message is clear, increasing levels of obesity show it is not having the positive impact society needs.
"People need more options. Clinical research plays a vital role in developing better and more cost effective treatments for people who are obese. Crucially, it also looks at the reasons for weight gain, which can help us address long-term solutions for the causes and development of the condition."
This latest call is an initiative by the NIHR in recognition of the need for further research-based evidence to underpin the prevention and management of being overweight and obese in adults and children.
Since 2013, the NIHR and the Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC) have awarded jointly-funded research grants of £20 million focused on improving quality of life for people with dementia and their carers, which now represents the world's largest social science research programme on dementia and care. This year's theme of obesity is expected to attract high levels of interest from researchers across the country.
2016 marks the 10 year anniversary of the NIHR, which is the research arm of the NHS. During the last ten years, the organisation has had a significant impact on health and wealth in the UK. If the results of the top 10 NIHR high-impact research studies were fully implemented in the NHS for one year, £3bn would be saved (net benefit).
To find out more about the work the NIHR is doing to support clinical research into obesity, visit http://www.crn.nihr.ac.uk/bigchallenge
SOURCE The National Institute for Health Research (NIHR)