Causeway Coast and Glens Council responds to Department of Health consultation on obesity

Causeway Cast and Glens Borough Council has endorsed a consultation response to the Department of Health’s (DoH) Healthy Futures framework.
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The endorsement was sought by council officers at a meeting of the council’s Environmental Services Committee on Tuesday, March 12.

According to the officers’ report, the DoH launched a consultation in November last year to seek views on the strategic framework to “prevent the harm caused by obesity and improve diets and levels of physical activity in Northern Ireland”.

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The new strategy aims to enhance health and wellbeing in Northern Ireland by focusing on improving diets, increasing participation in physical activity, addressing the obesogenic environment, and preventing the harm caused by overweight and obesity.

Council agreed an response to the consultation. Credit DoHCouncil agreed an response to the consultation. Credit DoH
Council agreed an response to the consultation. Credit DoH

Health Survey Northern Ireland recently found that 65 percent of adults are classified as living with overweight or obesity. More men than women are living with overweight or obesity and rates are also higher in the most disadvantaged communities compared to the least disadvantaged. Additionally, just over one in four children and young people in Northern Ireland are living with overweight or obesity.

According to the report, this new strategy is set to replace the current A Fitter Future for All strategic framework, which was implemented between 2012 and 2022 and “has shown good progress”.

“However, it has not met its overarching targets at the population level,” the report added. “The Department has based this new strategy on the learning from this, combined with a pre-consultation process, and further research including looking at what strategies have worked elsewhere.

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“The proposed vision of the strategy is to create the conditions in Northern Ireland which enable and support people to improve their diet and participate in more physical activity, and reduce the risk of related harm for those living with overweight and obesity.’”

Council members endorsed a reply based on an officer-suggested response to the consultation. The report concluded: “The response has, in the main, been drafted from an Environmental Health perspective however comments from Leisure Services and Planning Service have been included.”

Sinn Féin councillor Sean Bateson proposed an endorsement of the council’s consultation response at Tuesday’s Environmental Services Committee meeting.