Obesity Action Scotland was established in 2015 to provide clinical leadership and independent advocacy on preventing and reducing overweight and obesity in Scotland. It is funded by a grant from the Scottish Government and hosted by the Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Glasgow on behalf of the Academy of Medical Royal Colleges and Faculties.
The main aims of the Unit are:
The Steering Group of Obesity Action Scotland has members across various disciplines involved in preventing and tackling obesity and its consequences e.g. clinicians, public health experts, epidemiologists, nutritionists and dieticians, GPs and weight management experts. There are four members of staff.
Andrew was Director of Public Health in NHS Highland from 1994-97, then Deputy Chief Medical Officer in the Health Department of the Scottish Office, then Scottish Executive from 1997-2003. He was responsible for advice on Public Health Policy, taking a particular interest in health protection matters, alcohol-related harm, public health laws and, increasingly, health inequalities and the health of marginalised groups. From 2003-2012, he worked in the Scottish Prison Service as Director of Health and Care, also advising the government and World Health Organisation on prison-related health matters, national drugs and alcohol policy. His focus is on ways to narrow health inequalities in Scotland, and creating the conditions for change in healthy eating and active living are key steps for Scotland's health.
He is one of Scotland's leading medical voices on alcohol and has played a key role in influencing the Scottish Government on the twin areas of alcohol services and effective alcohol policy. He was previously a Consultant Psychiatrist with NHS Tayside Alcohol Problems Service and in this role pioneered a service based on a population model. He is also an Honorary Senior Lecturer in the Medical School, University of Dundee, is involved in a number of research projects as an advisor and co-applicant and has published in the BMJ and other journals.
Since 2004, Sheila has been Chair of the Scottish Coalition on Tobacco (SCOT) and represents ASH Scotland on the Government’s Ministerial Working Group on Tobacco Control. She also represents ASH Scotland on networks such as the Framework Convention Alliance and the Global Smoke-free Partnership. Prior to becoming Chief Executive she was Director of Information & Communications at ASH Scotland from 2003. In this role she was responsible for developing and communicating the evidence in favour of smoke-free public places in Scotland and influencing the development of the legislation that ended smoking in most enclosed public places. In 2013 Sheila was the recipient of the REHIS Annual Award for Meritorious Endeavours in Environmental Health, and in 2015 she was given honorary membership of the Faculty of Public Health. Strategically, ASH Scotland is working towards creating a generation free from tobacco, and tackling the inequalities that tobacco causes.
Steve has more than 27 years of senior business, public sector and university leadership experience. He was previously the Executive Director of the University of Strathclyde’s Technology and Innovation Centre, a £100 million capital and £50 million funding programme to transform the way the University undertakes collaborative research and development with business and industry.
Dr Colwyn M Jones BDS (Edin), FDS RCPS, FDS RCSEng, DDPH, MSc (V.U. Manc), Cert.HSM (OU), DM (UHIP), FFPH
Consultant in Dental Public Health, & Head of the Evidence for Action Team, NHS Health Scotland. Honorary Senior Lecturer University of Edinburgh and University of Dundee.
Associate Editor of the journal Community Dental Health. He is also the dental adviser to the Falklands Island Government.
Qualified from Edinburgh University as a Bachelor of Dental Surgery in 1981 and worked as a clinician across the UK and in Denmark, completing postgraduate studies in Cardiff Dental School, Glasgow Dental School and Manchester Dental School. He is a Cochrane Collaboration Oral Health Group member, Vice President of the European Association of Dental Public Health and past president of the British Association for the Study of Community Dentistry. He is a Fellow of the Faculty of Public Health. He has published on a variety of dental and public health subjects but most recently has been looking at the social determinants of oral health and oral health inequalities, and the effectiveness of interventions to overcome them.
Simon trained in general, respiratory and cardiovascular medicine in Newcastle, Cardiff, and Oxford, then in public health in Edinburgh and Glasgow. He was appointed as the first Professor of Clinical Epidemiology in the University of Liverpool in 1999. Simon manages a research programme mainly involving cardiovascular disease (CVD) and food policy. Funding thus far totalling over £20 million, with over three hundred peer-reviewed papers, many in top journals. Simon is President of the Society for Social Medicine, and Vice President (Policy) for the UK Faculty of Public Health. He is also a Trustee for the Faculty, for the UK Health Forum, and for Heart of Mersey, a large regional CVD primary prevention charity. He contributes to policy development and service work. He has recently chaired/participated in a dozen national /international policy and prevention committees, including Academy of Medical Royal Colleges (Obesity), British Heart Foundation (Prevention & Care), NICE (CVD prevention), UK Faculty of Public Health, European Society of Cardiology and WHO.
David Blane is an academic GP with an interest in the role of primary care in mitigating health inequalities and the interface between primary care and public health. He is the Academic Lead for the Deep End GP project in Scotland and co-Lead for the Determinants of Health and Health Inequalities theme in the Institute of Health and Wellbeing at the University of Glasgow. His qualifications include a BSc in International Health (2003) from University College London, MPH (2012) and PhD (2018) from University of Glasgow.
Claire is currently Head of Safer and Greener Marketing at the Scottish Government where she is responsible for delivering award-winning national campaigns across a range of different policy areas including Road Safety, Justice, Community Safety and Climate Change. Claire has a marketing career spanning over 20 years, and prior to joining the Scottish Government she spent 8 years as Account Director at one of Scotland’s leading advertising agencies, The Union, delivering marketing campaigns across a range of FMCG and public sector brands including Highland Spring, Warburtons, Whyte and Mackay and VisitScotland.
Joyce Thompson is a Registered Dietitian with a Master in Public Health and is currently employed by NHS Tayside as a Dietetic Consultant in Public Health and her remit covers all nutrition across the life course from prevention to complex care. Joyce has been involved in obesity prevention and management throughout her career. In 1999 Joyce was jointly responsible for the establishment of the British Dietetic Association’s (BDA) Obesity Specialist Group and became the first chair. She also chaired the Scottish Intercollegiate Guideline Network’s (SIGN) guideline development group on ‘Management of Obesity 115 (2010)’ and currently chairs the BDA Scotland Board.
Ashley is currently employed as a Consultant in Public Health in NHS Lothian’s Public Health and Health Policy Department. Ashley has a BSc (Hons) degree in Applied Human Nutrition from Queen Margaret University College (2000) and a Master of Public Health from the University of Glasgow (2008). Ashley is a registered Public Health Specialist with the UK Public Health Register and a registered Public Health Nutritionist and has held positions across the NHS, local authority and third sector.
Her current role involves working with community planning partners to improve population health and reduce levels of inequality. Ashley has a specific interest in maternal and child health and has undertaken research in improving preconception health, education and care.
Vittal is Professor of Public Health & Health Inequalities at the University of Glasgow and an honorary Consultant in Public Health at Public Health Scotland. His chief research interests are in improving the development and application of evidence to inform healthy public policy. He initially studied at the University of Edinburgh, completing degrees in Medical Sciences (Genetics), Medicine and Public Health Research and completed his PhD on the relationship between evidence and public health policy at the University of Glasgow. After initially working in hospital medicine, he carried out his public health training at NHS Lothian. He has published over 150 academic papers, with his chief research interests focusing on evaluating policies and health inequalities. His work has been recognised through the Littlejohn-Gairdner prize from the Faculty of Public Health and the Thomas C Chalmers award from the Cochrane Collaboration. He served as a member of the ‘Health of the Public in 2040’ working group for the Academy of Medical Sciences.
Lorraine previously worked as an independent consultant on public health policy and her clients included Scottish Government, Architecture and Design Scotland and NHS Education Scotland.
Lorraine provided interim management services across a number of policy areas in Scottish Government and has a wealth of experience in policy making and business management. From 2007 to 2013 work for Scottish Government involved developing and leading the national public health initiative “Good Places Better Health” and contributing to the development of health inequalities policy.
An Environmental Health Officer by profession, her career has included working within various local and regional levels of government in enforcement, enabling and advisory roles around environment and health. This has included Regional Advisor to Scottish Natural Heritage, Senior Policy Officer on Air Quality at Greater London Authority and Team Leader for Pollution Control in Scotland's largest Local Authority (Glasgow City Council).
Tel: 0141 465 7260
Tel: 0141 221 6072
Shanliza joined the Obesity Action System team in March 2021 on secondment and is employed in a part-time role supporting the National Co-ordinator.
Shanliza is a qualified events manager having graduated with a BA in Events Management and Tourism from the University of the West of Scotland and brings with her over 15 years of event management experience. Shanliza has worked with local authorities in the past delivering a range of high profile events.