GUEST COLUMN: Plan in place to tackle obesity, by senior public health manager at NCC, Anne Pridgeon

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Obesity is both a national and local priority.

It increases the risk of developing avoidable health conditions such as Type 2 diabetes and heart disease and doubles the risk of dying prematurely.

People with obesity are also more likely to be suffering with mental health problems such as depression. The economic costs are great, too.

We spend more each year on the treatment of obesity and diabetes than we do on the police, fire service and judicial system combined. It was estimated that the NHS in England spent £5.1 billion in 2014/15 on overweight and obesity related ill health.

In 2014/15, 17.2 per cent of Nottinghamshire County children aged ten-11 were obese and a further 13.8 per cent were overweight. The burden of obesity is falling hardest on those children from low income backgrounds. Obesity rates are highest for children from

the most deprived areas and this is getting worse. By the time we get to adulthood, 67.3 per cent of the Nottinghamshire population are overweight or obese, statistically worse than the England average.

The national Childhood Obesity Plan outlines the government’s plan to reduce England’s rate of childhood obesity within the next ten years by encouraging primary school children to eat more healthily and stay active. This includes the introduction of a sugar tax, the reformulation of food, a standard for public sector food procurement, more physical activity in schools, making school food healthier and the creation of a new healthy rating scheme for primary schools.

The Nottinghamshire Health and Wellbeing Strategy has an action plan to reduce the number of people who are overweight and obese. This plan takes a partnership approach to the prevention and treatment of obesity. Work includes the provision of weight management services for all ages, enabling health professionals and other staff to raise the issue of weight and support families to make healthy choices through working with planners.

If you would like a personalised, free, local weight management service please contact ChangePoint by calling 03330 050092.