City of York Council becomes the latest council to adopt the Healthy Weight Declaration

City of York Council becomes the latest council to adopt the Healthy Weight Declaration

Today (17th December), City of York Council became the latest local authority to adopt the Local Government Declaration on Healthy Weight, bringing the number of adopters up to a fantastic 21 to end the 2019.


At a decision session today, Cllr Ian Cuthbertson, Executive Member for Children and Young People and Cllr Carol Runciman, Executive Member for Health and Social Care officially signed the Local Government Declaration on Healthy Weight.

The Local Government Declaration on Healthy Weight is underpinned by 14 standard commitments, including: considering commercial partnerships, provision of food and drink in public buildings, facilities and providers, supplementary guidance for hot food takeaways and infrastructure to influence active travel. A support pack and monitoring and evaluation tool is also provided to local authorities, to support them on their journey. There is also an opportunity for local authorities to develop and sign up to any local commitments that are specific to the needs of the local community, with the City of York Council’s priorities adopted in their Declaration detailed below.

  • Increasing sustainable and active travel, as part of our aim for York to become a carbon neutral city by 2030
  • Developing and implementing a Sport and Physical Activity Strategy for the city
  • Supporting the wellbeing and health of council staff
  • Working with Public Health England and neighbouring councils on using health evidence in planning decisions
  • Mobilising and promoting our community assets, such as York’s vibrant community food programmes

Councillor Ian Cuthbertson, Executive Member for Children and Young People said

Currently, around 1 in 4 five year olds, 1 in 3 eleven year olds and just under 2 in 3 adults in York is above a healthy weight. Whilst healthy eating advice is important, we know that the modern food environment doesn’t always make the healthy choice the easy choice, or encourage us to take enough exercise. Today we are signalling our ambition for York to be a place where people are helped to live at a healthy weight.

Councillor Carol Runciman, Executive Member for Health and Adult Social Care said:

Our Council Plan focuses on every person enjoying the best possible health and wellbeing throughout their life. Unhealthy weight can have an impact on someone’s physical and mental health. This is why it is important we put in place measures to change the local environment so we can support people to live healthier lives. Signing the healthy weight declaration today is a really important step and sets out what we will be doing to help residents in the coming months.

Robin Ireland, Research Director at Food Active, said:

Congratulations to City of York Council for taking this stand. We all know how difficult it is to make the right choices when we are surrounded by unhealthy food, the wrong advertising messages and when sugary drinks are cheaper than water. I am delighted that the council is doing everything they can to help their residents, workers and pupils eat healthier and be more active.

You can view the official press release here.

Originating in the North West, the Declaration is now making significant tracks across the rest of the country, with York becoming the 21st council to adopt the Declaration and further growth and interest across the rest of Yorkshire and Humber (Leeds and Kirklees have alsoed adopted), South West (Devon signed their Declaration in October 2019) and the North West. We are looking forward to supporting even more councils to adopt in 2020.

If you would like to get in touch to find out more about how the Declaration could be adopted in your local authority, please contact info@foodactive.org.uk or call 0151 237 2686.


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