Issue - meetings

Obesity in Herefordshire

Meeting: 23/09/2022 - Health, Care and Wellbeing Scrutiny Committee (Item 16)

16 Obesity in Herefordshire pdf icon PDF 320 KB

To present background information for the committee to consider the ways in which the council and partners currently tackle obesity in the local population and to make any recommendations around future provision.

Additional documents:


On behalf of the committee, the Chairperson commented that this was an excellent report, thanked the Director of Public Health and the other officers involved for the high standard of work, and welcomed the participants to the meeting.


The Leader of the Council commented on the implications of people being overweight for the health and care system, and the need to take full advantage of the opportunities for walking and exercising in the county.


The Director of Public Health gave a presentation on ‘Tackling Obesity’, as published in a supplement to the agenda (link to the presentation).  This included slides showing:


·             Epidemiology statistics, identifying that 67% of adults in Herefordshire were overweight or obese (2020/21);


·             A system map from the Foresight, Tackling Obesities: Future Choices – Project report (2007) (link to the report), illustrating different determinants that can lead and influence body weight; an overview of current action to tackle obesity, highlighting national and local programmes, and recognising that there were some gaps in weight management support across Herefordshire’s child and adult healthy weight pathways;


·             An infographic reflecting the different level of healthy weight interventions from a universal provision through to services to meet individual care needs, and across life stages; and


·             A summary of the recommendations detailed in the conclusion and key areas for policy development section of Appendix A (agenda page 39).


The principal points of the discussion included:


1.           Professor Gately commented that: the system map demonstrated the complexity of the interactions between the key variables; the needs, strengths and challenges of each area were different and had to be considered at a local level; it was clear from the evidence that investment in a good provision of services was critical; a whole systems approach needed to be relevant to the local authority, to be cognisant of recent public health, political and economic events, and to be prepared for the emergence of new issues; in addition to reflecting the key strategic goals of the council and of the health system, there was a need to involve other local stakeholders, such as businesses and education providers; a series of workshops could help to pull information together and develop a plan; local practitioners could follow the Whole systems approach to obesity: A guide to support local approaches to promoting a healthy weight (2019) (link to the guide), with appropriate support and resources committed to do it well.


2.           The Chairperson commented on the need for improved coordination to achieve seamless service provision and questioned whether a healthy weight strategy, using the whole systems approach, would be beneficial. 


The Director of Public Health commented on the work already being undertaken, including on the physical activity strategy and in relation to sustainable food, and on the need to avoid duplication.  The workshop approach advocated by the guide could provide an opportunity for collating key information but also to identify where to best focus effort and maximise value.


The Chairperson suggested that a healthy weight strategy  ...  view the full minutes text for item 16