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Local Authority Healthy Weight Declaration Signed at the Winter Gardens

Written by on 25/11/2022

Blackpool Council committed to improving the health of residents by once again signing a Local Authority Healthy Weight Declaration.

The declaration was re-signed at an event at the Winter Gardens by Director of Public Health Dr Arif Rajpura and Councillor Jo Farrell, Cabinet Member for Adult Social Care, and Community Health and Wellbeing.

The Local Authority Declaration on Healthy Weight has been designed by Food Active on behalf of the Health Equalities group. It lays out the council’s continued commitment to actions that promote healthy lifestyles to combat obesity and other related conditions. Launched in August 2015, Blackpool Council was the first local authority to adopt the declaration in January 2016.

Since the Council first signed the declaration, it has worked with local food businesses to develop the Healthy Choices Award and has over 150 businesses signed up. It has also been integrated into the Universal Free School Breakfast which provides a healthy breakfast to all primary school children in Blackpool.

Key actions and responsibilities are set out in the declaration, including improving access to healthier food, providing more opportunities for residents to engage in physical activity, and raising awareness throughout Blackpool to promote healthy lifestyles.

Some of the key actions the declaration lays out are:

·       To invest in the health literacy of local residents to make informed healthier choices; ensuring clear and comprehensive healthy eating and physical activity messages are consistent with government guidelines

·       Review how strategies, plans and infrastructures for regeneration and town planning positively impact on physical activity, active travel, the food environment and food security

·       Review contracts and provision at public events, in all public buildings, facilities and via providers to make healthier foods and drinks more available, convenient and affordable; and to limit access to high-calorie, low-nutrient foods and drinks

Councillor Jo Farrell Cabinet Member for Adult Social Care, and Community Health and Wellbeing said: “The Healthy Weight Declaration shows our commitment to the council’s ongoing work to promote healthy lifestyles. Services, organisations and community groups across Blackpool are already working in partnership and we are keen to improve on all the great work that is already happening.

“Unhealthy weight is a serious public health problem. Obesity contributes to disease and early death and is a severe cost to our local health services. Whilst there are challenges it is very encouraging to see the commitment of partners to tackle this issue.”

The Declaration also highlights the need to work with local businesses to promote healthy food options throughout the town.

Blackpool’s Director of Public Health Dr Arif Rajpura said: “The Healthy Weight Declaration is very important for our residents and the businesses they visit. 

“Here in Blackpool we work hard with a range of local food outlets, restaurants and takeaway businesses to develop and promote healthy menu items and products via the Healthy Choices Awards, with awards given to local food businesses who provide healthy options within their offer for customers.

“This is a key component and just one of many great initiatives improving health outcomes for Blackpool residents.”