The International Pharmaceutical Federation (FIP) has urged the entire healthcare workforce to try as much as possible to be involved in efforts to improve diet and physical activity across populations.
In a statement signed by the organisation titled “Nutrition and weight management services: A toolkit for pharmacists” it emphasized the need for this is to prevent diseases and deaths from poor nutrition.
According to the statement, poor diets are responsible for more deaths than any other behavioural risk factor, including tobacco smoking, and up to five million deaths per year could be prevented if populations were more physically active.
Mr Gonçalo Sousa Pinto, FIP lead for practice development and transformation, said pharmacists are trained specially to promote health through pharmacological means.
He added that pharmacists are ideally positioned to help people to improve their nutrition and manage their weight because their easy, frequent accessibility means they can be on hand to help people maintain lifestyle changes, which is something people often find most difficult.
He further said that the FIP toolkit is set to support pharmacists in providing nutrition and weight management services.
“Pharmacists have an opportunity to make an even greater impact on the health of their communities by involving nutrition and weight management as a vital component of their approach to patient care. This toolkit aims to provide support and guidance for pharmacists to be proactive in having conversations on diet and weight with their patients, and we encourage more of the profession to adopt these services,” said associate professor Ingrid Gelissen, a report contributor from the University of Sydney School of Pharmacy, Faculty of Medicine and Health, Australia.
The International Pharmaceutical Federation (FIP) is the global federation of national associations of pharmacists and pharmaceutical scientists, and is in official relations with the World Health Organization. Through our 146 member organisations, we represent over four million practitioners and scientists around the world. Our vision is a world where everyone benefits from access to safe, effective, quality and affordable medicines and pharmaceutical.