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Bexley Council asking for your views on how to beat obesity

PUBLISHED: 10:28 10 June 2019

Councillor Teresa O’Neill is chairman of the health and wellbeing board, which has drawn up a strategy to tackle obesity. Picture: Steve Hickey

Councillor Teresa O'Neill is chairman of the health and wellbeing board, which has drawn up a strategy to tackle obesity. Picture: Steve Hickey

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Obesity is becoming an ever more serious problem in the UK, and now Bexley Council is calling on residents to have their say on how to tackle it.

The authority is asking local people for their views on its new strategy to help more people avoid the problems that excess weight can cause.

Nearly two out of every three Bexley adults and more than a quarter of the borough's reception age children are either overweight or obese.

This is the highest and second highest proportions in London respectively.

By Year 6, which is 10 and 11-year-olds, almost 40per cent of Bexley children are overweight or obese.

As well as causing physical changes, it can lead to several serious and potentially life-threatening conditions.

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These include stroke, Type 2 diabetes, coronary heart disease and some types of cancer such as breast cancer and bowel cancer.

Obesity can also affect quality of life and lead to psychological problems, such as depression and low self-esteem.

"Obesity is a major challenge and the strategy is evidence of our determination to work with our partners and local people to turn things around," said Councillor Teresa O'Neill, chairman of the Bexley health and wellbeing board.

"Educating people of all ages to eat well and stay active will make a huge difference to their health and their lives."

The new strategy that has been drafted by the council and its NHS and voluntary sector partners proposes a wide-ranging list of actions including changing lifestyles and promoting healthy eating.

It wants to support a community culture that sees healthy living and physical activity as the norm while prompting individuals to make healthier lifestyle choices.

The draft strategy is available online at bexley.gov.uk/news/consultations or at all Bexley libraries.

Residents have until August 25 to have their say by emailing public.health@bexley.gov.uk with My views on Bexley's Prevention Strategy in the subject line; or completing an online survey at surveymonkey.co.uk/r/ZXXCP8W; and by also writing to Obesity Strategy consultation (Public Health), London Borough of Bexley, Civic Offices, Broadway, Bexleyheath, Kent DA7 7AT.

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