Annual Public Health report focused on healthy weight

​Date17/01/2017

Ref: PR8456

Senior Wakefield councillors are to discuss two reports which highlight the district's public health challenges.

Cabinet members meeting on January 24 will consider Wakefield's Annual Public Health report – which this year focusses on helping residents to achieve a healthy weight. They will also review an update of the 2015 Public Health report - which looked at ways to help babies and toddlers in the district to enjoy good and lifelong health.

Being a healthy weight, through being active and eating well, helps to reduce the risk of diseases including heart disease, stroke, dementia and some cancers in later life.

In Wakefield 22 percent of reception children are overweight. By Year 6 this rises to 33 percent, meaning that one in three children leave primary school overweight. Figures also show 70 percent of adults in the district are overweight or obese - above the average of 62 percent for England.

The Public Health Annual Report 2016 report highlights the Council's role and also how employers, schools, colleges, professionals and residents can work together to help reduce obesity.

Cllr Pat Garbutt, Cabinet Member for Adults and Health at Wakefield Council said: "Obesity is a global matter and a major challenge not just for individuals but for society as a whole. We'll be discussing the report which highlights some of the ways to tackle this highly complex issue."

The report includes details of how the Council is working with partners to help create healthy places, such as controlling the number of fast food takeaways and promoting walking in the district's parks.

Support is also being offered to individuals and families through the Change4Life programme, along with a pilot weight management programme and an allotment scheme to promote cooking skills.

The report recommends that employers consider how they can make work places healthier, that support is targeted where help is needed the most, and that everyone takes the opportunity to move more to boost their health.

Schools and health and social care professionals are also being recommended to take opportunities to promote healthier eating and physical activity.

The update on the Annual Health Report 2015 (The 1,000 Day Challenge) focussed on actions to improve the first 1,000 days of children's lives in the district and shows the progress that has been made in key areas.

Breastfeeding rates in the district have improved, and fewer mums are smoking during pregnancy than a year ago.

Councillors are being recommended to note that continued action is needed to give children the best start in life. For more information see: www.wakefield.gov.uk/publichealthreport

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