Health chiefs in Derbyshire have announced a new drive to tackle obesity – as a national report called for urgent action to tackle the problem.
The Heart of Derbyshire Awards Scheme, which is to launch this spring, will encourage food producers, retailers and takeaway businesses to lower salt and fat content in their products and offer smaller portion sizes.
Cllr Dave Allen, Derbyshire County Council’s cabinet member for health and communities, said: “We want everybody in Derbyshire to be fit and healthy and do our best to encourage and support people in their efforts to achieve this for themselves and their families.
“We hope that encouraging food producers and retailers to offer healthier choices and encouraging people to seek out healthier options is a good start.”
There are about 160,000 obese adults in Derbyshire, with significant variations across the county, ranging from 23 per cent in the Derbyshire Dales to 27 per cent in Bolsover.
According to experts, the true scale of Britain’s obesity crisis may have been seriously underestimated.
The National Obesity Forum said the UK is in danger of surpassing predictions of a 2007 study which estimated that 50 per cent of the nation would be obese by 2050.
Cllr Allen added: “The number of obese people nationally is rising and we haven’t escaped this trend in Derbyshire. With obesity comes a host of associated health risks and we have to act now to try to stop the numbers rising even further.”
On the Derbyshire Times’ Facebook page, we asked readers what they think should be done to tackle obesity.
Andy Proctor said: “Quite simply healthy foods need to be cheaper and stop or ban promotions on unhealthy items.”
Danny Oldale said: “Education on nutrition in schools explaining the benefits of a balanced healthy diet.”
David Woodward said: “Taking a personal responsibility for your own well-being?”
Visit www.nhs.uk for dietry advice.