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Home > Public Health > Improving Health > A-Z Public Health > Healthy Weight, Healthy Lives Regional Programme

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Healthy Weight, Healthy Lives Regional Programme

DH SW regional programme to support the creation of a healthy society - from early years, to schools and food, from sport and physical activity to planning, transport.

Obesity is one of the biggest health challenges we face in society. The Government is committed to taking action to reverse the rising tide of obesity. Almost 1 in 4 adults in England are currently obese, and if we carry on as we are by 2050, 9 in 10 adults will be overweight or obese. The cost of overweight and obese individuals to the NHS is estimated to be £4.2 billion and is forecasted to more than double by 2050. The cost to the wider economy is £16 billion, and this is predicted to rise to £50 billion per year by 2050 if left unchecked.

In January 2008 the Government published 'Healthy Weight, Healthy Lives: A Cross-Government Strategy for England'. £372 million has been made available to implement the strategy, which sets out how the Government will enable everyone in society to maintain a healthy weight.

The Department of Health South West (DHSW) has developed a regional Healthy Weight, Healthy Lives action plan to support PCTs and local authorities to implement the national strategy.  The plan brings together the regional contributors of Food & Nutrition, Physical Activity and Healthy Weight and supports central DH within the South West region to:

  • Develop and support delivery chain networks
  • Disseminate high-quality, timely and useful information
  • strengthen local delivery chain capability,
  • co-ordinate partners at operational and strategic level
  • build the evidence base for effective intervention

To enable these core aims, DH South West have expanded their capacity by appointing three Sub-regional obesity co-ordinators, a Physical activity lead and a recently appointed breastfeeding early years  co-ordinator.

Within the first year the expanded regional team have worked across the South West working closely with local leads and partnerships. Stakeholders from PCT’s and local authorities have accessed support and co-ordination through local, sub-regional and regional network meetings, workshops, a regional conference and a web-based information portal.

The web-based information portal, “ the healthy weight for children hub ” commissioned by DHSW now acts as a one-stop-shop for professionals to access high quality data and information, to network with fellow professionals, to share best practice and to keep informed about events/workshops. The hub, managed by the SWPHO, also proactively supports network members through the dissemination of a monthly newsletter.

As part of the DHSW commitment to developing the evidence base on tackling obesity, SWPHO have been commissioned to build local capacity in monitoring and evaluation through the delivery of workshops and web-based toolkits and are working closely with the National Obesity Observatory and IDeA on this programme.

Additionally, a number of demonstration projects across the region have been grant-aided to expand evaluation scope and disseminate learning regionally, nationally and internationally.

Further support for areas will be provided by DHSW through a regional peer review programme, due for launch in autumn 2009. The first phase of the programme will review the local partnership approach to adult obesity building on information submitted to NHS South West in response to the SW strategic ambitions.

Healthy Weight Healthy Lives – Regional Manager

Department of Health South West
2 Rivergate
Temple Quay



Contact information

Public Health Team
Government Office for the South West
2 Rivergate
Temple Quay
tel: 0117 900 3531
fax: 0117 900 1911
email: swpublichealth@gosw.gsi.gov.uk

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