Prevent Obesity and Chronic Disease with a Culture of Wellness

A culture of wellness centred around physical activity should be at the core of our healthcare system if we are to reverse the trend of obesity and chronic disease in the UK. According to the Faculty of Sport and Exercise Medicine UK (FSEM), the nation’s healthcare focus should be directed towards physical inactivity as well as lifestyle and diet to prevent chronic disease and childhood obesity.

In response to the current focus on obesity in the media, the FSEM calls for further recognition of the dangers of widespread physical inactivity. An inactive lifestyle, the nation’s hidden health threat, is currently a far greater risk than being obese or overweight*. The FSEM advocates the prescription of exercise medicine in the prevention and treatment of chronic disease, with a clear focus on prevention and wellness for adults, including pregnant women, and from an early age up.

Dr Roderick Jaques, President of the Faculty of Sport and Exercise Medicine UK comments: “The health benefits of getting fitter and taking regular exercise, no matter what your size, are well publicised and we need to use this momentum to tackle preventable diseases and conditions, including obesity. A wellness culture should start in schools, be implemented in places of work and filter into everyday life; supported by the Department of Health and the NHS, to provide more interventions more regularly for those at risk of chronic disease and obesity.

The FSEM supports the idea that resources should be used to evaluate what could stop children from getting obese in the first place, outlined by Professor Neena Modi, President of the Royal College of Paediatrics and Child Health**. There is also limited research available with regards to physical activity from the very early years. Further scientific research into both these areas would be beneficial and the FSEM would welcome working with the representative Royal Colleges and public health bodies to develop research.

The FSEM would like to see the Department of Health make a clear commitment to increasing physical activity levels to prevent disease in addition to tackling obesity with diet and lifestyle changes.



* Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Glasgow – Maintaining health and treating illness through regular physical activity January 2015

**The Times 26 May 2015 – Obesity strategy ‘is failing’

BMJ Talk Medicine – Fit V Fat with Professor Steven Blair

Royal College of Paediatrics and Child Health – Responds to Government vow to tackle childhood obesity

Making the physically active choice – A manifesto to improve public health, FSEM 2015

FSEM – Sport and Exercise Medicine A Fresh Approach, NHS information document

Notes to Editors:

  • The Faculty of Sport and Exercise Medicine was launched in 2006 and is an intercollegiate faculty of the Royal College of Physicians of London and the Royal College of Surgeons of Edinburgh
  • The Faculty has over 560 Members and Fellows, not including medical students. There are around 94 Sport and Exercise Medicine Doctors on the GMC specialist register
  • The FSEM not only sets standards in SEM but oversees research, training, curriculum and assessment of SEM Doctors, including providing revalidation services
  • Sport and Exercise Medicine consultants work in a variety of musculoskeletal and exercise medicine services across NHS primary and secondary care. They also work within sports from the ‘grass routes’ level up to supporting international teams and athletes
  • The specialty has a large scale application in improving the musculoskeletal and physical health of the general public through exercise advice and prescription. Further information about the specialty can be found in the Media & Resources section at


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For further information contact Beth Cameron, PR & Communications for the Faculty of Sport and Exercise Medicine;

Email:, Tel: 0131 527 3498, Mobile: 07551903702