In England, most people are overweight or obese. This includes 61.9% of adults and 28% of children aged between 2 and 15. People who are overweight have a higher risk of getting type 2 diabetes, heart disease and certain cancers. Excess weight can also make it more difficult for people to find and keep work, and it can affect self-esteem and mental health.
Health problems associated with being overweight or obese cost the NHS more than £5 billion every year.
By 2020, we want to see:
It is important that we encourage and help people to:
Through our Public Health Responsibility Deal, businesses and organisations can make it easier for everyone - from staff to customers - to make healthier choices.
The Responsibility Deal has 4 networks (alcohol, food, health at work and physical activity) which all have collective pledges that businesses are encouraged to sign up to. Our actions to help people eat more healthily include:
Local councils are responsible for working with other organisations to improve the health of people living in their area. This includes making sure that the right services are in place.
We will be giving local councils a budget specifically for public health, which will allow them to provide services that meet the health needs of their local community. This could include making their own plans for helping local people who are overweight or obese, for example by providing weight loss services.
Local councils will also have health and wellbeing boards that bring together local organisations to create an environment in which people can make healthier choices.
In 2007, the Foresight report ‘Tackling Obesities: Future Choices’ revealed worrying levels of obesity in the UK. Its findings informed the government’s ‘Healthy Lives, Healthy People: A call to action on obesity in England’, which was published in 2011.
The call to action: