Healthy Weight Alliance - development session **Current**
As you may be aware, Durham County Council are one of only four LAs nationally to be selected following a competitive process, to be a pilot for a programme funded by Public Health England (PHE) and supported by the Local Government Association. The programme aims to create a step change in the way that LAs can tackle obesity.
PHE have appointed a team from Leeds Beckett University (LBU) to draw on international and national evidence to support the development of our programme. LBU are working with the four pilots to support them in identifying how they can use their current resources and to get better results in tackling obesity as well as benefitting our key priorities.
An essential part of the programme was to gain a stronger understanding of "what works well here" from across County Durham. To tackle obesity it is important to understand what characteristics drive success locally as this will help LBU tailor their support to the council with good practice from elsewhere. These sessions have happened with partners across County Durham and now we want to move towards what we want to achieve together.
We are hosting a workshop in Durham on the 14th November, 1-4pm (venue tbc) where we will be combining local and national material with local knowledge and expertise. We will cover some of the local causes of obesity, what we are currently doing around the issue, who else could be involved to make this easier or more effective, and what we could do collectively to strengthen our overall approach to tackling this challenge. Hopefully this will help us to develop a collective approach to some of the complex issues associated with obesity.
Around 2,900 North East Children Become Overweight Or Obese During Primary School **Current**
As North East children prepare to start school, new statistics* released by Cancer Research UK today (Thursday) reveal the scale of the child obesity crisis facing the region.
Every year, around 2,900 North East children who start primary school at a healthy weight end up obese or overweight by the time they leave.
This worrying statistic adds to the fact that nearly one in four children in the region are already overweight or obese when they start primary school.
And by the time they leave, that figure rises to more than one in three.
To highlight the staggeringly high level of children’s obesity, Cancer Research UK has transformed a store front into an XL school uniform ‘shop’ window to show the new norm of larger school uniforms.
Photographs of mannequins wearing the XL school uniforms have been released as part of the charity’s Junk Free TV campaign, after the Government reneged on its commitment to publish a robust strategy to tackle the crisis of children’s obesity.
The plan published last month failed to contain any commitments to protect children from junk food marketing or vital mandatory targets to reduce the amount of fat, sugar and salt in food.
Encouraging exercise and a sugar tax alone won’t curb the rise of ill health which could cost the NHS billions.
So Cancer Research UK is now urging people across the North East to email their MP at cruk.org/ChildhoodObesityStrategy to raise the issue with Prime Minster Theresa May.
Lisa Millett, Cancer Research UK spokesperson for the region, said: “The figures and images released today highlight the urgent need to help protect the health of the region’s youngsters. The Government has failed to do so.
“Obese children are around five times more likely to grow into obese adults, and obese adults are more likely to develop cancer and other diseases.
“There are lots of factors working against families when it comes to helping children make healthy choices – including children being bombarded with junk food advertising.
“That’s why we need people to email their MPs and demand robust action to help give our children the best possible chance of a healthy future.”
Being overweight or obese is the single biggest cause of preventable cancer in the UK after smoking and contributes to 18,100 cases of the disease every year. It is linked to 10 types of cancer including bowel, breast, and pancreatic.
Alison Cox, Cancer Research UK’s director of prevention, said: “Around 2,900 youngsters will become overweight or obese during primary school each year in the North East, and the Government had a chance to prevent this.
“The childhood obesity plan is simply not up to the task of tackling children’s obesity. Instead, the next generation faces a future of ill health, shortened lives, and an overstretched NHS.
“It will take more than encouraging exercise and a sugar tax to tackle the obesity epidemic. The Government has already recognised the influence of junk food marketing on children’s health by banning junk food advertising during children’s programmes - it’s time to close the loop hole during family viewing time.
“Young waistlines have been expanding steadily over the last two decades. With so many overweight and obese children in the region and across England, we are seeing a greater need for larger school uniforms. And it’s a shame the Government has missed an opportunity to save lives.”
Visit cruk.org/ChildhoodObesityStrategy to take action.