Sefton Council sign the Local Authority Declaration on Healthy Weight

Sefton Council sign the Local Authority Declaration on Healthy Weight

Sefton Council has signed the Local Authority Declaration on Healthy Weight to show its dedication to promoting healthy weight across the borough through improved food and drink provision. Developed by North West based Health Equalities Group’s Food Active project, the healthy weight declaration was first adopted by Blackpool Council in 2016 where it has been shown to have made a positive impact on policy at local authority level. Sefton is now one of 7 local authorities in the North West to have signed the declaration. 

The aim of the declaration is to achieve a local authority commitment to promoting healthy weight across all policy areas with a view to improving the health and well-being of the local population. The declaration includes 14 standard commitments including protecting communities from commercial pressures from marketing, consider commercial partnerships which may conflict with healthy weight messages, review provision of food and drink in all public buildings and more.

Overweight and obesity in Sefton exceeds the national average with figures from 2013 to 2015 estimating that 69.7% of Sefton adults are overweight or obese. Cllr Ian Moncur, Sefton Council’s Cabinet Member for Health and Wellbeing, said: “Obesity is a huge problem for us in Sefton. 35.1% of children in the borough are overweight or obese by the time they start secondary school. We will be working with all departments to ensure healthy weight is included in all policies, strategies and actions and I’m really pleased that the council has taken this positive step in tackling this.”

 As part of the declaration, Sefton Council will be reviewing the catering and vending options in council leisure centres to ensure the promotion and availability of more healthy items. The Council has also recently adopted planning guidance in an effort to restrict the opening of new hot food takeaways, specifically in the areas around secondary schools and further education centres. Earlier this month, Matthew Ashton, Director of Public Health at Sefton and Margaret Carney, Chief Executive of Sefton Council also signed the open letter to Coca Cola objecting the Coca Cola Christmas Truck Tour and calling for more responsible marketing to children during the festive period. Protecting children from inappropriate marketing by the food and drink industry is also one of the committments in the declaration.

Robin Ireland, Director of Research at Food Active (Honorary) and the lead for this project, said: “Congratulations to Sefton 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 Sefton Council is doing everything they can to help their residents, workers and pupils eat healthier. I hope other councils will follow Sefton’s example.”

For further information about the declaration, please follow this link or inquire are beth.bradshaw@foodactive.org.uk

To read the press release from Sefton Council, follow this link.


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