Telford’s leading public health specialist has issued a stark warning cry to residents, business and partner organisations – we all need to do our bit to tackle excess weight
by Liz Noakes, Statutory Director of Public Health
Every year I produce a report that looks at health issues within Telford and Wrekin, and this year’s focuses on the issue of excess weight.
This will be the fifth Public Health Annual Report that I have produced. Putting it together has shown to me that the scale of the problem is huge, and there is no one cause nor one solution to the issue of excess weight.
Please do take the time to read it. I aimed to write a report that has something in there for everyone no matter who you are.
The report also asks people to get in touch for their ideas and support to our combined efforts. So I am looking forward to hearing from people who have read it.
For now though, here is a short overview of the report and why I think we all need to do our bit to tackle excess weight.
The excess weight problem in Telford and Wrekin
So here is what we know:
- 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
So why is this happening? Well, in general we are consuming far more calories than we need – what we sometimes call ‘calorie creep.’ Being overweight is now the norm with people not fully aware of all the risks of the fact that they might be overweight.
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.
These are problems that the whole country is facing and it’s not unique to our borough.
We all need to do our bit
The scale of the problem is so huge that our response to this has to be as co-ordinated as possible.
This means that 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.
Last year’s Public Health Annual Report showcased how we were encouraging our communities to be more resilient. Our communities are becoming a hive of activity, many people run volunteers groups that promote healthy eating and exercise.
To reduce excess weight we need to build upon our work that supports communities. As part of this we will be working closely with community groups and volunteers to produce plans to tackle the issue of excess weight.
Business is another important group we need to work with. 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.
But we all need to consider what we can do to take care of own weight. There are lots of small changes we can make in our lifestyles that will make a difference.
What you can do
Although technology has made us more sedentary, but it has also provided us with many new ways to keep fit. The apps from One You are all very useful for people who want to lose weight or exercise more. These include Active 10, Couch to 5k and Easy Meals apps.
We are lucky to have many green spaces in 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.
I know that being outdoors not only can help to reduce excess weight, but is also good for your happiness and wellbeing too. I would encourage people to make use of them.
If you just don’t know where to start or need a little encouragement to make a change in your lifestyle, then get in contact with our Healthy Lifestyles team. They provide free encouragement and support that’s tailored around a person and their needs.
People can contact the team contact the team on the telephone – 01952 382582 or email – firstname.lastname@example.org.
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. But it can be done.
One of our case studies that features in the report is from local resident Les Pointer. He lost 7 stone in 21 weeks when he took up walking football, decided to watch what he ate, and with support from a Healthy Lifestyle Advisor.
You can see how he did it in Les’s own words from one of our blogs that we featured earlier in the year.
Read the Public Health Annual Report
Our illustrative and interactive report is available online. But you can always download it as a PDF and print it off if you prefer.
If you have any thoughts about the report or have any ideas about how business, the council and our partners, communities and people, can help tackle the excess weight issue, then let us know in the comments below.