As set out in the White Paper, the Government is committed to tackling the major public health challenge presented by high levels of overweight and obesity in England. Excess weight is a significant risk factor for diseases such as Type 2 diabetes, cancer and heart disease. It can also affect individuals’ ability to get and hold down work, their self-esteem and their underlying mental health. Overweight and obesity costs the NHS more than £5bn each year and has wider impact on economic development.
The Call to Action on Obesity sets out the Government’s ambitions in relation to excess weight in England, which are to achieve:
The Call to Action sets out how the new public health and NHS systems will enable the wide range of partners with a role to play to take more effective action on preventing and addressing overweight and obesity. Key elements of the new approach include an enhanced role for local areas and a national-level focus on population-level action.
As part of the new approach to obesity, the Government also makes clear that, given the different levels of risk faced by different groups, it is vital that action on excess weight reduces health inequalities. It emphasises that particular attention needs to be given to specific socioeconomic and ethnic groups and to disabled people and people with mental health needs.
As set out above, the Government’s aim is to reduce levels of overweight and obesity in the population and to prevent weight gain among those with a healthy weight.
In order to achieve this, the new approach to obesity will empower local leaders and decision-makers, and encourage business and voluntary sector partners to make a significant contribution