Sefton Council has signed a declaration to show its dedication to promoting healthy weight across the borough through improved food and drink provision.
The declaration shows a commitment to reducing overweight and obesity in the borough by helping residents to make healthier choices.
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.
Overweight and obesity in Sefton is currently above 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.
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.”