Obesity summit

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Professionals and community groups gathered together last Friday to tackle obesity throughout Thurrock at the borough’s first Whole Systems Obesity Summit.

Hosted by Thurrock Council at Orsett Hall, the Whole Systems Obesity Summit showcased a new approach to challenging increasing obesity trends in Thurrock to over 100 attendees.
Speakers included Mark Cortnage, who founded Shift the Timber, a physical activity programme for Thurrock residents.

Workshops topics included enabling schools and services to help children and young people achieve a healthy weight; improving food and physical activity environments; increasing positive community influences and improving how to identify and manage obesity.

Key partners who attended the event included local school head teachers and staff, GPs and primary care colleagues, council colleagues from health, social care and local services and voluntary and charitable organisations.

By working together throughout the day, attendees successfully developed a strong partnership focused on identifying and addressing local causes of obesity.

The Whole Systems Obesity Summit is part of Thurrock Council’s Whole Systems Obesity Strategy, which is due to be published in April 2019 by the council’s Public Health team. It aims to engage multiple sectors to achieve key goals in tackling this local issue.

Cllr James Halden, portfolio holder for education and health, said: “Obesity is a real problem throughout Thurrock and can cause significant health issues in both children and adults, ranging from high blood pressure to Type Two diabetes.

“This summit illustrates our new approach towards tackling obesity and has helped us to identify key partners who we can work with towards a vision of better health and wellbeing.”

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