Health leaders in Kent have welcomed the Government announcement on today’s World Obesity Day for £100million national funding in healthier weight support services.
Across the country, over £70 million will be invested into weight management services – made available through the NHS and councils – while the remaining £30 million will fund initiatives to help people maintain a healthy weight, including access to the free NHS 12 week weight loss plan app and continuing the successful Better Health marketing campaign to motivate people to make healthier choices.
The latest data (2018/19) shows that 62.4 per cent of Kent adults are classified as overweight or obese. Kent County Council commissions healthy weight programmes through a number of providers as part of the One You Kent service and has been supporting the Better Health campaign in the county by promoting the support available at www.oneyoukent.org.uk
KCC Adult Social Care and Public Health Cabinet Lead, Clair Bell said: “We welcome today’s Government announcement and we look forward to hearing the detail on how it will be rolled out locally, and how it may further extend the One You Kent services available to our residents, as the COVID-19 pandemic has shown the impact that living with obesity can have on people’s health and it is more important than ever to make it easier for people to move towards a healthier weight.”
Mark Cummings, One You Kent Locality Lead for Kent Community NHS Foundation Trust, which runs One You Kent services in east Kent. He said: “One You Kent understands how important your health is to you and your loved ones. We have the tools and support you need to quit smoking, get active, and lose weight or just feel better about life.
We can support you by telephone and video calls as well as virtual groups, from the comfort of your home, to set small goals to make big changes. We understand technology can be tricky to start with but our advisors will talk you through everything and help you get off to a great start in 2021. Follow One You Kent on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter for playlists, videos and information to help on your journey to a healthier YOU this year.”
For advice about small changes you can make to improve your health and wellbeing, as well as quitting smoking and reducing how much alcohol you drink, and to find more support in your area regarding your lifestyle, see www.oneyoukent.org.uk You can also try the ‘How are You?’ quiz, Easy meals app or Active 10 app at www.kent.gov.uk/healthyweight where you can also find the NHS 12 week diet and exercise plan, plus a referral form to speak to a One You Kent advisor.
Angela Baker, Deputy Director for Health and Wellbeing at Public Health England South East said: “Living with obesity can have a devastating impact on people’s health and wellbeing in so many ways, not least its link this year to the increased risk from COVID. “This investment will greatly boost services for adults struggling with their weight and we will work with local authorities to support delivery of the weight management services available for adults. We will also be working with families and healthcare workers to help us to understand how we can support children to have a healthy weight.”
Part of the funding from the £30m national pot will also go towards upskilling healthcare professionals to support those in early years and childhood with intervention and enhanced training packages, helping up to children and families to lead healthy lives.
Clair Bell added: “Overweight or obese children are more likely to be overweight or obese as adults, increasing their risk of heart disease and some cancers, while more young people than ever are developing Type 2 diabetes. Excess sugar can also lead to painful tooth decay.
“As well as schools health teams, we support the Change4Life campaign which encourages parents to make simple everyday swaps that can reduce children’s sugar intake from some products (yoghurts, drinks and breakfast cereals) by half – while giving them healthier versions of the foods and drinks they enjoy. Families are encouraged to look for the Change4Life ‘Good Choice’ badge in shops, download the free Food Scanner app or search Change4Life to help them find lower sugar options.”
For more info, search @Chaneg4LifeKent on Facebook or go to www.kent.gov.uk/change4life