Early years discussed at latest Health and Wellbeing Board

Tackling childhood obesity was just one of the topics covered during the latest West Sussex Health and Wellbeing Board meeting.


Release date: 24 July 2018

Held at Arun Civic Centre in Littlehampton on 12 July 2018, the Board brings together District, Borough and County councillors, leaders from the NHS, social care and the voluntary sector to work together and support one another to improve the health and wellbeing of the local population as well as reduce health inequalities.

It provides a forum for challenge, discussion and the involvement of local people.

With a focus this time on early years health, the Board discussed the levels of obesity across the county, which have become a major public health problem costing West Sussex an estimated £415 million per year. On average it deprives an individual of nine years of life.

In West Sussex, about 20 per cent of children starting school and 30 per cent going into secondary school are overweight or obese.

The pattern of weight in West Sussex children is in line with that for England.

It is an inequalities issue with a higher prevalence in the more deprived areas.

The Health and Wellbeing Board voted in favour of encouraging all partners to take a systematic approach to obesity, particularly in place-based interventions and community based activities.

The County Council’s Cabinet Member for Adults and Health, Amanda Jupp, said: “Nationally, nearly a third of children aged 2 to 15 are overweight or obese. Each successive generation is becoming obese at an earlier age and staying obese for longer.

“We may soon see the first generation with a shorter life expectancy than their parents and it is important that we all take steps to combat this rising issue.”

The Health and Wellbeing Board also heard from Kelly Pierce, Consultant Midwife in Public Health/Healthy Child Programme Lead, who spoke on the importance of integrated working and introduced the launch of a new initiative, Better Change. This is a focused programme of work over two years which will improve the impact and efficiency of support for vulnerable families from pre-birth to 5 years old.

The Board also discussed the Better Care Fund programme and the Sussex and East Surrey Sustainability Transformation Partnership.

The Health and Wellbeing Board will meet again on 11th October in Crawley. All are welcome to attend.

For more information visit the Health and Wellbeing Board page.

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