Obesity Special Interest Group

Ella Rhodes on a British Psychological Society call for a national voice in the debate.

The British Psychological Society’s Obesity Special Interest Group is up and running once again following a short hiatus. Founded in 2012 as part of the Division of Clinical Psychology’s Faculty of Clinical Health Psychology, the group is hoping to attract new members from academic and applied backgrounds and reunite members from the earlier days of the group.

Dr Ian McKenna, Lead Clinical Psychologist for the Specialist Weight Management Service at Torbay and South Devon NHS Trust, was voted in as the group’s Chair late last year. He said the group’s activity died off late in 2017 after no-one took up the mantle from departing Chair Dr Emma Shuttlewood. ‘I felt that our voice was missing from the national debate on the obesity crisis. I felt that we needed to resurrect the Obesity Special Interest Group to provide this national voice from BPS psychologists, as well as to support psychologists working in obesity, and to carry on the momentum started by the Obesity Task Force.’

The group’s vision is to ‘shape and change the culture of obesity by placing psychology at the core of any obesity prevention and management programme’ and its committee has met twice since its resurrection. McKenna said he and the committee are intending to organise a national meeting and CPD event this year.

If you work as an applied or academic psychologist in obesity and wish to connect with other psychologists working in the area, make use of shared resources, training and peer support, and potentially have a contributing role in national guidelines on obesity, please contact McKenna at [email protected] quoting ‘facchp-obesity’. 

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