We all need to do our bit to tackle excess weight
A report to Telford and Wrekin Council’s Cabinet has issued a stark warning cry to residents, business and partner organisations - we all need to do our bit to tackle excess weight in the borough.
The Public Health Annual Report, which looks at key health issues facing the borough, reveals levels of excess weight in Telford and Wrekin:
• 1 in 4 children aged four or five are overweight or obese
• 1 in 3 children aged 10 or 11 are overweight or obese
• 2 in 3 adults are considered to be overweight or obese
• 3 in 10 adults are physically inactive
The report, also outlines what the borough needs to do to tackle this key health issue which is leading to reduced life expectancy, high blood pressure, bone and joint problems, and low self-esteem.
Liz Noakes, Statutory Director of Public Health and report author, said: “The scale of the problem is huge, and there is no one cause nor one solution to the issue of excess weight.
“Actions need to be taken at all levels – nationally by government, locally with the Council working with employers, the NHS and partner organisations and by people living in their families and communities. The Council cannot tackle this issue alone - everyone needs to do their bit.”
The report echoes the problem nationally of excess weight with around 2 in 3 adults in England now considered to be overweight or obese.
Liz Noakes said: “Technological changes have meant that we are less active. We can shop, stay in touch, and be entertained from our sofa – workplaces are increasingly more sedentary as well.
“Individuals are finding it harder to eat healthily as the availability of calorie rich meals is more widespread, we are also eating out more where portion sizes tend to be larger.
“Excess weight is a problem for the entire country, not just in Telford and Wrekin.”
The Public Health Team says it needs to work even more closely with partners on this issue.
Liz Noakes said: “Our communities are a hive of activity, many people run volunteers groups that promote healthy eating and exercise.
“We will be working closely with community groups and volunteers to produce plans to tackle the issue of excess weight.
“Where we work has a significant effect on how we live our lives, so we must work closer with business to create healthier working environments.
“We need to encourage people to make the most of the many and often opportunities to lose weight by making some very simple changes.”
Les Pointer from Telford is a good example who features in the report. He lost 7 stone in 21 weeks when he took up walking football, decided to watch what he ate, and asked for support from Healthy Lifestyle Advisor.
Les Pointer, said: “I don’t think I did anything special. I didn’t follow any diet plans, I was never hungry, I just ate all the right foods, 3 meals a day with no snacking, and exercised 3-4 times a week.
“My energy levels and happiness are now much better. I can walk up the stairs without getting out of breath and can help my wife around the house more. I can be normal and happy.”
The Public Health Annual Report is set to be endorsed by Health & Wellbeing Board and Cabinet on the 12 September.
The report summarises the rise and fall of other local health indicators: teenage conceptions rates and early deaths from preventable causes have improved to match the national average, but levels of tooth decay in children have increased to above the national average.
Arnold England, Cabinet Member for Health and Wellbeing, said: “We all need to do our bit to tackle excess weight in the borough.
“Making a change in your lifestyle is never easy. Many people’s lives are so busy that they just don’t have the time to think about their own health.
"Think about the small changes you could make, and what opportunities you have to lose weight.
“For example, we have many green spaces Telford and Wrekin, our award winning town park, the outdoor gyms, excellent leisure centres, and a 50 mile walking trail that connects footpaths and rights of way across the borough green trials and footpaths.
“If you just don’t know where to start or need a little support get in contact with our Healthy Lifestyles team who provide free encouragement and support to anyone who wants to make a change in their lifestyle.”
People can contact the team contact the team on the telephone – 01952 382582 or email – firstname.lastname@example.org.