At a presentation in Carlisle today North Cumbria University Hospitals NHS Trust, Cumbria Partnership NHS Foundation Trust, Cumbria Early Years Network and Cumbria Association of Local Councils (CALC) signed up to the Food Active Healthy Weight Declaration, committing to promote healthy weight across the county.
This follows Cumbria becoming the first two-tier area to introduce a joint Healthy Weight Declaration between Cumbria County Council and district level councils this time last year.
Councillor Deborah Earl, Cabinet Member for Public Health and Community Services, said:
“Having more partners join us represents another significant step in our joint efforts to promote healthy weight in Cumbria.
“We have a strong track record of working together and now we’ve officially joined forces with the support of Food Active committing to support more people to better health and wellbeing.”
The Healthy Weight Declaration is a ‘Food Active’ initiative. Food Active is a collaborative programme launched by North West Directors of Public Health in November 2013 to tackle rising obesity levels in the North West.
The Healthy Weight Declaration is a set of commitments and priorities identifying some key principles to support employees and local communities to make healthier lifestyle choices and endeavour to reach and maintain a healthy weight.
Robin Ireland, Director of Research at Food Active, said: “It’s reassuring to see Cumbria’s continued commitment to promoting healthy weight. The latest signings highlight the versatility of the Healthy Weight Declaration, allowing partners to unite and tackle obesity.
“Together we can support residents, employees, service users and patients, schools, businesses and other organisations. Signing this pledge signals a determination to support local communities to make healthier lifestyle choices easier.”
Stephen Eames, Chief Executive of Cumbria Partnership NHS Foundation Trust and North Cumbria University Hospitals NHS Trust, said: “What we eat and the exercise we do plays such an important role in our health and wellbeing. We know that maintaining a healthy weight is a real challenge in our communities and our health services see the impact of this every day.
“We all have a responsibility to do what we can to help people in Cumbria to maintain a healthy weight and today marks the start of our commitment to this. As part of the NHS Long Term Plan we need to focus more on helping people to stay well and by working together we can make a real difference.”
Katie Clarke, Cumbria Early Years Network, said: “We are delighted to sign the Healthy Weight Declaration and are committing to developing ‘Healthy Families Cumbria’ in partnership with early years settings across the county.
“Through working together with families, we want to ensure that young children have plenty of opportunities to be active each day, and that families can enjoy making healthy choices around food and drink.”
Rick Petecki, Chairman of Cumbria Association of Local Councils, said: “This is a great initiative to encourage and support our communities to be active and to lead healthier lives.
“Parish and town councils can play an important role locally by raising awareness and by helping their town or village to improve their overall health.”