Public health budget cuts are having a direct impact on services for fighting obesity, states research by the Royal Society of Public Health (RSPH).
A survey, completed by 100 people working in the public sector, found that budget constraints were causing 'rationing' of a number of public health services including weight management, Child and Adolescent Mental Health Services, alcohol treatment services, sexual health, NHS health checks, smoking cessation and vaccinations.
Shirley Cramer, chief executive of the RSPH, said: 'This snapshot suggests that funding cuts are beginning to bite and are having a direct impact on frontline services. Obesity which Simon Stevens has called "the new smoking" is arguably the number one threat to both the public's health and our NHS, but people in the frontline are reporting that some of our most effective weapons aimed at tackling this threat such as excercise referral and weight management services are being restricted. A strategy which undermines prevention defies logic and is only storing up problems for the future, which will be amplified in terms of cost and impact to our nation's health.'
The top two services that respondents found were being compromised were weight management (48.78%) and excercise referral schemes (43.9%).