Being overweight or obese increases the risk of a wide range of chronic diseases, principally type 2 diabetes, hypertension, cardiovascular disease including stroke, as well as cancer. It can also impair a person’s well-being, quality of life and ability to earn. The rapid increase in the number of obese people in the UK is a major challenge. It is estimated that over half of the UK adult population could be obese by 2050. (Source: UK Government report - Foresight Tackling Obesities: Future Choices Project )
Climbing Higher : Next Steps (Welsh Assembly Government 2006) - Builds on the foundations of the original strategy and outlines a framework for action to secure a better, fitter and healthier Wales.
Walking and Cycling Action plan (Welsh Assembly Government 2009) - The Action Plan summarises the key steps planned to secure a walking and cycling culture in Wales
What is NHS Wales doing about obesity?
The Health Needs Assessment 2006: Nutrition and Obesity was produced by Public Health Wales Observatory to assist local health partnerships with the 2006 round of health needs assessment in preparation for their Health, Social Care and Well-being (HSCWB) Strategies. Topics covered include: healthy diet (e.g. fruit and vegetable consumption),body weight (overweight and obese) and dieting in children.
Local Health Boards in Wales are required to plan and develop in partnership with local authorities and voluntary sector Health, Social Care and Well-being (HSCWB) Strategies. These set out how the identified health, social care and well-being needs of local residents will be addressed through joint working across organisations, and through effective targeting of resources. They are aimed at improving the health of the people in their locality, and making sure that they can get treatment and help when they need it. You can find examples below or by visiting the Local Health Boards websites.
The Obesity Pathway is a tool for Health Boards, working jointly with Local Authorities and key stakeholders, to map local policies, services and cross-departmental multi-agency activity for both children and adults and then to identify gaps.
Health Challenge Wales signposts members of the public to information or activity to help them improve their own health including tips on Food and Fitness.
Change4Life is a public health programme in Wales. The campaign aims to encourage people to lead healthier lives, using the slogan "eat well, move more, live longer".
The Physical Activity and Nutrition Networks for Wales website contains information about the Nutrition Network for Wales and the Physical Activity Network for Wales, latest news and events, research and evaluation, policies and strategies, target groups, campaigns, community initiatives, sources of funding, workforce development and much more.
The MEND programme (Mind, Exercise, Nutrition Do-it) is funded by the Welsh Assembly Government and is aimed at overweight/obese children aged 7-13 years and their families. MEND is a FREE 10 week programme run twice a week, and consists of sessions covering nutrition, exercise and behaviour change. There are MEND programmes in the majority of Local authorities in Wales. For more information, visit the MEND website below:
The Welsh Government has asked Public Health Wales to undertake a national height and weight measuring programme for Wales.
Local Health Improvement Initiatives
Caerphilly Public Health Team works with a Project "Fun, Food and Fitness” (F3) The aim of F3 is to promote a joined-up approach to increase awareness of healthy eating and physical activity, and achieve positive changes in attitude and behaviour for overweight and obese children aged 8-11 years old and their “families.” It has been developed in response to an identified need within the population of Caerphilly borough – which has poor dietary habits, low physical activity participation and high obesity rates
The Ceredigion Local Public Health Team projects include "Walking The Way To Health" , a Physical Activity Action Plan and the Healthy Food Programme which is being funded by the Big Lottery Fund (BLF), is to improve accessibility to healthy food and to increase knowledge and understanding of healthy eating.
Tackling obesity in Wales. The current situation. 2007 (National Public Health Service in Wales).
Recognising the need for an effective response to the health threat posed by obesity, the Welsh Assembly Government along with the Department of Health in England jointly commissioned the National Institute for Health & Clinical Excellence (NICE) to conduct a systematic review of the evidence and to produce both clinical and public health guidance informed by the evidence. This process took almost 2 years and the final guidance on the prevention, identification, assessment and management of overweight and obesity in adults and children was launched in December 2006 with a range of both clinical and public health recommendations.
Obesity. The prevention, identification, assessment and management of overweight and obesity in adults and children. (National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence.2006)
- NICE Guidance: Obesity. The prevention, identification, assessment and management of overweight and obesity in adults and children
Health Behaviour in School-aged Children (HBSC) survey: eating habits and oral health. (Welsh Assembly Government 2004)
This report compares data from Wales with that from selected HBSC countries on meal patterns, nutrition and oral health. Data are presented for the three UK countries participating in the study and contrasted with countries reporting the highest/lowest rates of behaviours.
The Public Health Wales Observatory website contains a selective list of Obesity resources including links to key policy documents detailing targets, data sources including European statistics and reviews of evidence.
The Welsh Health Survey includes self-reported information about health related lifestyle of people living in Wales. The survey information is available at the local authority level. Results for children are reported at the all-Wales level. Healthy eating and obesity related indicators for adults include adults overweight or obese and adults eating fruit & vegetables daily.
Make a Change for Life Video
Change4Life is a campaign designed to help people make changes to their lifestyles so that they can eat well, move more and live longer.
These days, 'modern life' can mean that we're a lot less active. With so many opportunities to watch TV or play computer games, and with so much convenience and fast food available, we don't move about as much, or eat as well as we used to.
Which means that 9 out of 10 kids today could grow up with dangerous amounts of fat in their bodies.