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22 March 2018

Cumbria’s local authorities unite to tackle obesity

At a meeting today, Cumbria County Council’s Cabinet approved a Healthy Weight Declaration, as part of efforts to support council staff and wider Cumbrian communities to make healthy lifestyle choices.

The Healthy Weight Declaration is a ‘Food Active’ initiative. Food Active is a collaborative programme launched by North West Directors of Public Health in November 2013 to tackle rising obesity levels in the North West.

The Healthy Weight Declaration is a set of commitments and priorities identifying some key principles to support staff and local communities to make healthier lifestyle choices and endeavour to reach and maintain a healthy weight.

Work is now underway to secure commitment to this declaration from all six district councils which when agreed will mean that Cumbria will become the first two-tier area to introduce a joint Declaration between county and district level councils.

Cllr Deborah Earl, Cabinet Member for Public Health and Community Services, said:

“We’re committed to tackling obesity in Cumbria and joining forces with district councils is another positive step forward.

“We want Cumbria to be a place where everyone is able to enjoy an active, healthy and fulfilling life.

“Together we employ a significant number of people, we work with residents, businesses, communities and other organisations, signing this pledge means we’ll work together to support local communities to make healthier lifestyle choices.”

Cumbria Facts

  • 1 in 3 children in year 6 have excess weight and obesity (35.5%)
  • More than 1 in 4 children starting reception class in Cumbria have excess weight and obesity (28.2%)
  • Barrow-in-Furness has the greatest % of overweight/obese Reception age children (31.5%)
  • Copeland has the greatest % of overweight/obese Year 6 children (41.4%)
  • 2 in 3 adults age 16+ are overweight (66.9%)

Colin Cox, Cumbria County Council's Director of Public Health said:

“The North West has the highest overweight population in England and Cumbria has one of the highest in the North West.

“Signing the Declaration provides an opportunity to protect some of the most vulnerable in Cumbria by giving children the best start in life and enabling all children, young people and adults to make healthier choices.

“The partnership between local councils provides a way of engaging service areas like planning, children’s services, environmental health, public health, community services and more to highlight each other’s role in tackling obesity.”

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At a meeting today, Cumbria County Council’s Cabinet approved a Healthy Weight Declaration, as part of efforts to support council staff and wider Cumbrian communities to make healthy lifestyle choices.