Obesity is a major risk factor for cardiovascular disease, type 2 diabetes, some cancers and high blood pressure. It is a chronic condition that can contribute to poor mental health and even early death. Obesity also has a social and economic impact, reducing productivity and healthy life expectancy, whilst increasing disability and demand for health care services.

The Health Survey for England 2021 estimates that 25.9% of adults in England are living with obesity and a further 37.9% are categorised as overweight. Nationally, 10.1% of reception age children (age 4-5) and and 23.4% of children in year 6 (age 10-11) were classified as obese in 2021/22. Furthermore, prevalence of obesity is higher in more deprived communities, where some face more challenges than others incorporating physical activity and healthy eating into their daily lives.

Helping people to achieve and maintain healthy weight is one of the most important things we can do to improve population health. Whilst interventions based on improved nutrition and physical activity can be effective for individuals, shifting the population distribution of obesity requires change that targets elements of the obesogenic environment (Foresight, 2007). This is known as a whole systems approach.

Healthy Weight data report: Click the report tabs to explore more data around Healthy Weight in County Durham. Click on the expand button in the bottom right of the box to open in full screen mode.

Our Strategies, plans and groups

The Health and Wellbeing Board’s Joint Health and Wellbeing Strategy 2023-28  contains four priorities. One of these is ‘Enabling healthy weight for all’. The strategy lists the following  differences which we can expect to see in  the life of the JLHWS (2028):

 ● Improved stakeholder engagement, where all services are committed to working  together to increase levels of healthy weight
● A reduction in the access to and promotion of unhealthy food, with a focus on ensuring prevalence of hot food takeaways does not exceed the County Durham Plan threshold of 5%, and monitoring of the policy that restricts advertising of foods that are high in fat, salt and sugar on Durham County Council platforms
● Increase the number of children who are a healthy weight
● Reduction in the proportion of adults who are overweight and obese
● Increase in the number of physically active children, young people and adults

Working towards Healthy Weight 2018

The evidence base

Other relevant links