“Obesity is one of our most serious public health challenges and these figures are a wake-up call on what is needed to help combat this epidemic."
Responding to the latest NHS Digital figures on obesity, physical activity and diet which show that nearly one third of all adults and 20 per cent of year six children in England are obese, Cllr Ian Hudspeth, Chairman of the Local Government Association’s Community Wellbeing Board, said:
“Obesity is one of our most serious public health challenges and these figures are a wake-up call on what is needed to help combat this epidemic.
“Early intervention and prevention work by councils, which are responsible for public health, is vital to deal with this. Not only does it reduce the risk of people having their lives shortened by obesity-related conditions such as diabetes, cancer and heart disease, but it also keeps the pressure off the NHS and adult social care.
“Councils are leading efforts to fight obesity but have seen their public health funding budgets fall by £700 million in real terms since 2015/16, which needs to be reversed in the upcoming Spending Review if they are to continue this cost-effective work and reduce health inequalities between different areas.
“It is also abundantly clear that radical action is needed in the Government’s impending green paper on prevention, to truly help reduce the nearly one third of all adults and the 20 per cent of year 6 children who are classified as obese.”
#CouncilsCan: Spending Review 2019
With the right funding and powers, councils can continue to lead local areas, improve residents’ lives, reduce demand for public services and save money for the taxpayer. Securing the financial sustainability of local services must be the top priority for the Spending Review.