Voluntary Sector: TOAST launches obesity helpline

The Obesity Awareness & Solutions Trust (TOAST) is positioning itself as a support hub for sufferers of obesity.

The charity, which is creating a helpline to ensure obese people feel they have 'someone to turn to', wants to educate the public about the problems faced by obese people.

It hopes to use Obesity Awareness Week, which runs from 12-19 March, to improve understanding of the condition and reduce the social stigma, discrimination and bullying faced by overweight people.

The charity said over-eaters who are 'miserable, out of control and want a different kind of life' often lack the help they need to lose weight.

'Obese people don't have anyone to talk to,' said TOAST charity administrator Sue Diebelius.

She added that the helpline, a 'listening, non-judgemental service that provides educational advice and support', was part of a wider campaign to 'get rid of the ludicrous concept that all fat people have to do is eat less and exercise more'.

The charity also wants to convince politicians that 'obesity is probably the single most destructive illness of our time'.

The campaign will also encourage ministers to devote more time towards policies that address the obesity issue, including the development of better education packages.

Health, medical, consumer and political media will be targeted.

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