The ‘Making Healthy Weight Everyone’s Business’ event saw Local Government partners, including Blackburn with Darwen and Blackpool Councils, join forces with Blackburn with Darwen Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG), Public Health England and the Food Active partnership – a collaborative programme made up of Public Health Directors across the North West.
Chaired by Blackburn with Darwen Council’s Executive Member for Health and Adult Social Care, Councillor Brian Taylor, the morning of the summit saw speakers from the various organisations talking on a range of issues including the national perspective on healthy weight, healthy weight in Blackburn with Darwen and ways to make healthy weight everyone’s responsibility.
The afternoon session saw workshops taking place to develop the vision for the recently announced Childhood Obesity Trailblazer Programme.
That programme is funded by the Department of Health and Social Care and managed by the Local Government Association.
It seeks innovative action to tackle childhood obesity at local level. The Council and its partners in the Together a Healthier Future programme will use an initial £10,000 funding to develop innovative plans to reduce childhood obesity that can also be shared across the country.
The healthy weight summit was another achievement of a three-year strategy by Blackburn with Darwen Council and NHS health partners to encourage residents to move more, eat well and maintain a healthy weight.
The Eat Well, Shape Up, Move More Strategy aims to encourage positive lifestyle changes that enable local people to improve their health and wellbeing by supporting an environment where physical activity and healthy eating is the easy choice for everyone throughout their lives.
This has included a commitment to signing a joint healthy weight declaration.
The Local Authority Declaration on Healthy Weight – signed in 2017 – contains fourteen common commitments that all Local Authorities that sign up to it agree to pursue, along with a set of themes specific to the local area.
The local commitments have included promoting active travel with the launch of the Weavers Wheel; supporting the Daily Mile scheme and food policies for Primary Schools; food and physical activity policies and support for early years settings; creation of a Food Alliance for BwD to address food poverty and food sustainability and working towards the borough’s designation as a Breastfeeding Friendly Borough and a Sugar Smart Borough.
Councillor Brian Taylor said:
“A healthy weight is an essential foundation for physical, emotional and social wellbeing. Along with partners from across the borough and beyond, we have made various commitments to support residents to eat well, shape up, move more and live healthier lives and this healthy weight summit – which I was delighted to chair – was all part of our ongoing focus in that area.”