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Notts takeaways to be urged to offer healthy options in obesity crackdown

Nottinghamshire is facing an obesity crisis.
Nottinghamshire is facing an obesity crisis.

Takeaway operators in Nottinghamshire will be encouraged to offer more healthy food and drink to their customers as part of a crackdown on obesity in the county.

Figures revealed by Public Health England show 65 per cent of adults in Nottinghamshire are of “an excess weight” and 26 perc ent are obese, compared with 61 per cent and 23 per cent respectively in England.

Nottinghamshire County Council’s public health division has commissioned an obesity prevention and weight management service as a central part of the county’s framework to address obesity.

The service includes “tier one obesity prevention”, which is targeted public health interventions aimed at prevention and reinforcement of healthy eating and physical activity messages for all ages.

Tier one healthy lifestyle weight management includes weight management, healthy eating, physical activity and behaviour change delivered in the community to children, young people, and adults including pregnant women.

A report, written by Jonathan Gribbin, interim director of public health at the council, which will be presented to the adult social care and public health committee, outlines how the council are progressing with their obesity prevention and weight management service.

It says: “Expansion of the healthy options takeaway scheme, which is a partnership between county council public health and district council environmental health teams, which engages businesses which offer takeaway food in making improvements to their choice of healthy food and drink for their customers.

“An important part of this scheme is publicity to increase public awareness, which in turn encourages more businesses to participate in the scheme.

“Obesity and overweight remain significant public health issues. Securing maximum value for money and health impact from this contract is critical.”

The report says 26 per cent of adults in the county are obese compared with 23 per cent in England, but that levels of child obesity in the county are significantly lower than the England average and have not increased over the last decade as in the country as a whole.

It adds twice as many children in the county are obese when they finish primary school aged 10-11– 17.4 per cent – compared with at the start of primary school at age four-five, at 8.6 per cent, which is in line with the national average.

Mr Gribbin’s report also reveals that during 2016/17, the obesity prevention programmes had 16,000 children and adults contacts, but many of these represented one-off contacts at events and in schools which may have had little impact on sustained behaviour change.

More emphasis on working with community groups, schools and workplaces to build their own skills and capacity as healthy places is now being encouraged.

The report says the uptake of the adult tier two weight management offer has achieved more than double (218 per cent) of the annual target, and that a third of users who complete the 12 week programme achieve a clinically significant weight loss in the first three months.

The uptake of the maternity weight management has been poor in the first two years of the contract, the reports says, but does say that the new weight management support for obese women planning to have a baby is starting to produce an increase in the number of pregnant women accessing the service with 23 women accessing the service in quarter four of 2017/18 from a target of 29 – a significant increase on the previous quarters and previous year.

The committee will meet on Monday, May 14, and members are recommended to approve publicity of the healthy options takeaway scheme, as well as considering any further action required to secure best outcomes and value for money for residents.