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Obesity: unrecognised or avoided? We are missing opportunities to ‘make every contact count’
  1. Elspeth Clare Ferguson1,
  2. Emily K Stewart2,
  3. Claire Hannah3,
  4. Charlotte Jane Elder1,4
  1. 1 Diabetes and Endocrinology, Sheffield Children's NHS Foundation Trust, Sheffield, UK
  2. 2 School of Medicine, The University of Sheffield, Sheffield, UK
  3. 3 Pharmacy, Sheffield Children's NHS Foundation Trust, Sheffield, UK
  4. 4 Academic Unit of Child Health, University of Sheffield, Sheffield, UK
  1. Correspondence to Dr Elspeth Clare Ferguson, Diabetes and Endocrinology, Sheffield Children's NHS Foundation Trust, Sheffield S10 2TH, UK; elspethferguson{at}

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Obesity, ‘one of the biggest public health threats facing the UK’, is highlighted by the Royal College of Paediatrics and Child Health as one of seven key priorities for children’s health and well-being.1 The statistics are shocking: One-third of children aged 10–11 years and one-fifth of children aged 4–5 years in England are overweight or obese.1 In 2017, the Obesity Health Alliance’s position statement on tackling obesity in the UK called for further action over and above the Government’s 2016 Childhood Obesity Plan.2 We would like to draw your readers’ attention to the role of health professionals in making ‘every contact count’1 2 and to highlight our concerns about current practice, based on a recent clinical audit.

At our trust, all medical outpatients have height and weight measured at each clinic attendance, with body mass index (BMI) automatically plotted on centile charts within their electronic record. We retrospectively reviewed records of a random sample of 100 new medical …

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  • Contributors ECF conceived the idea, designed the obesity recognition audit, supervised the work undertaken by EKS and drafted the manuscript. EKS undertook the obesity recognition audit work as part of a special study module through the University of Sheffield. CH was involved in the design of and undertook the prescribing in obesity audit. CJE advised on the audit design, supported supervision of the audits and advised and edited the manuscript. All authors approved submission of the manuscript.

  • Competing interests None declared.

  • Patient consent for publication Not required.

  • Provenance and peer review Not commissioned; internally peer reviewed.

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