A call for cookery lessons to be made compulsory has been made by a member of Nottingham City Council’s Bulwell and Bulwell Forest Area Committee.
Reg Knowles, representing Bulwell’s Bradford Street Allotments, was commenting on a city health profile which was presented at a meeting of the committee.
This claimed that 57.3 per cent of adults, amounting to six out of 10, in the Bulwell council ward were estimated to be overweight, compared with the city ward average of 47.3 per cent. Mr Knowles said the popularity of fast food contributed to obesity and indicated that many people did not know how to cook and this was something which urgently needed to be addressed.
He said confusion over food scares made people feel ‘very cynical’. One example was a claim by experts that guidelines telling millions of people to avoid butter and full-fat milk should never have been introduced. He said visiting children who were shown carrots growing on his allotment had told him they thought these originated from supermarkets.
The report also showed that 36.3 per cent of Bulwell ward residents smoked, which was the second highest figure for city wards. Life expectancy for Bulwell ward males of 74 years was said to be ‘significantly worse’ than the national figure.
Fr Andy Nicolls, of Bulwell Churches Together, said he had seen families ‘fall apart’ through the traumatic effect of long-term illness among children or other stressful situations. Alison Challenger, of Nottingham’s public health team, said it was taking an evidence-based approach to improving the city’s health.