Almost 70 per cent of adults in Calderdale are overweight or obese, with the implications that brings for health, Cabinet members are being warned.
There is also a worrying trend for young people, with 22.6 per cent of reception age class children and 34.3 per sent of children taking their next step to secondary school in the same category.
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When it meets on Monday, November 4, Cabinet is being asked to adopt the Local Government Declaration on Healthy Weight to help tackle the problem.
This carries 14 standard and seven additional local commitments for the council to live up to, the former ranging from considering issuing guidance to takeaways that are near schools or parks to ensuring healthy food and drinks are provided at public events.
Specifically in Calderdale, the council should develop its Active Calderdale programme, take action to grow with partners a healthy food programme, make policy changes to achieve goals, promote workplace health and wellbeing among its own employees, develop and deliver an award scheme for local eateries linked to the food hygiene rating scheme, plan and take local action that will impact in food and climate change and develop a ratings system to encourage and support healthy eating and physical activity for early years school children.
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Calderdale Council’s Cabinet member for Public Health and Cohesion, Coun Faisal Shoukat (Lab, Park), said although work to tackle obesity and related health issues was under way, the council should do more for all ages, integrating it with other council policies.
“Although tackling unhealthy weight isn’t a new issue, it’s important we do all we can to promote healthier choices and subsequently improve the health and wellbeing, and life expectancy, of our residents.
“By adopting the Local Government Healthy Weight Declaration we would be building on the work already in place to improve food in Calderdale, including our existing community growing initiatives and the recently launched Calderdale Food Network.
“The declaration would also tie in with our Local Plan policies, which now include mention of proximity of hot food takeaways to schools and land usage for food growing requirements,” he said.
Calderdale Council Cabinet will meet at Halifax Town Hall next Monday, November 4, from 6pm.