The media has been full recently of reports of an increase in obesity, particularly childhood obesity, across the country. We have also seen the brilliant success of Team GM athletes in both the Olympic and Paralympic games in Rio.
Following on from this, at the last full meeting of Bury Council the Lib Dem team of councillors used our two two formal questions to ask about obesity and sports participation, and how Bury is doing compared to the rest of the country:
Given recent reports of continuing increases in obesity, including amongst children, could the Leader inform members on how Bury compares on this issue with the regional and national figures, and what work the authority is doing under it’s public health function to tackle the issue.
Answer from Bury Council:
In Bury 67.1% of adults are overweight or obese. This almost matches similar authorities to Bury (statistical neighbours) but is greater than the England figure of 64.6%. For children, around 20.75 of 4-5 year olds have excess weight and the trend is very slightly worsening. This is below the national figure of 21.9% and comparable authorities (22.6%). Excess weight in 10-11 year olds stands at 32.9%, with the trend recently improving. This figure is lower than similar authorities (34.1%) and England (33.2%).
The response them went on to detail the current work of the Council to tackle obesity, which included:
– Commissioning the Health Visiting Service and the
School Health Service to deliver the national Healthy Child Programme which incorporates healthy weight.
- BEATS – a GP Exercise Referral Scheme for those with a chronic condition including where obesity is a factor
- A Bury Healthy Schools Programme which will incorporate healthy eating and physical activity
Development of an Active Travel Plan for Bury to promote walking and cycling as part of daily routines
We are meeting with the Director of Public Health shortly to raise our concerns about these very high figures for Bury and what more can be done. (Views and suggestions appreciated! – email firstname.lastname@example.org).
In the light of the success of Team GB at the Olympic Games, could the Leader inform members on how Bury compares with other areas both regionally and nationally for sports participation. What is the authority doing to encourage sport participation in the Borough?
The response from Bury Council was:
The Sport England ‘Active Peoples Survey’ for 12 months to April 2016 showed that 32.6% of females took part in sport each week for at least 30 minutes compared with 31.7% females nationally and 41.8% of males took part in 30 minutes of sport once per week compared with 40.7% nationally. Therefore Bury is above the national average for both females and males. Bury is also above average when compared with our statistical neighbours for sport participation.
The Bury Sport And Physical Activity Service (SAPAS) helps to increase the participation of the Borough of Bury through increasing the awareness and number of opportunities in Bury for people to become more active more often whether they live, work or study in Bury. For example, SAPAS provides a very successful Exercise Referral Scheme called BEATS for people with a recurring illness or medical condition who would benefit from a personal exercise programme. It is a partnership between NHS Bury and Bury Leisure. Doctors, practice nurses and specialist health professionals within Bury refer suitable patients to join the BEATS programme.
“I Will if You Will” (IWIYW) is a programme, led by Bury Council with the support of Sport England and other partners, to encourage more women to be more active, more often. The project was originally conceived to address the gender gap that exists between males and females, with almost 2 million fewer women than men taking part in sport and physical activity regularly. The programme set out to encourage behavioural change amongst women and girls in Bury, with a view to monitoring the throughput, frequency and retention of participants and generating learning on what works. The programme has been in Bury since 2013.
Our view is that, given the significant investment in I Will If You Will, it would have been hoped that we were a bit more than 0.9% higher than the national average. Please do let us know your views on these issues.
The full answers to both questions are on the Council’s Website here.