Residents across Greater Manchester are being invited to share their thoughts around children’s healthy living, as childhood obesity rates continue to rise across the region.
The latest figures suggest that 39% of children living in Greater Manchester are overweight or obese by the time they get to year six (aged 10-11 years old) and 22% by reception (aged 4 or 5).
‘The Real Picture’ survey commissioned by NHS Greater Manchester (NHS GM) asks people living and working in the area to share their thoughts on what’s really behind the rise in childhood obesity.
The survey, accessed via therealpicture.org will be used to inform a wide range of partners within the Greater Manchester Integrated Care Partnership including NHS GM, local authorities, the voluntary sector and charities, health professionals and beyond – engaging town planners, sports coaches, teachers, retailers, and many others – to help identify ideas, initiatives and interventions that resonate with residents and children and ensure a lasting and positive change towards happier, healthier lives.
Jane Pilkington, director of Population Health at NHS Greater Manchester, says: “Evidence suggests that the impacts of childhood obesity last all too predictably through life – a child who is obese at aged 5 and 10 is more likely to be obese as an adult, and more likely to experience reduced life expectancy and poor health, as a result.
“Although individual motivations play a role in accessing food and maintaining a healthy weight, we know there are several contributing factors to the increased risk of overweight and unhealthy children in Greater Manchester – many of which influenced by the environments that people move through every day.
“Nowhere is this more apparent than in urban areas across our city-region which have a high density of fast-food outlets, where residents are saturated with junk food ads. Healthy food choices can be up to three times more expensive than unhealthy and less nutritious options.
“And that’s why this work is so important – it’s time for an honest look at childhood obesity in Greater Manchester, starting with sharing this survey far and wide and giving as many people as possible, the chance to have their say. By exploring the views of residents, we can uncover what’s really contributing to the rise in childhood obesity and work together to tackle it.”
Access the survey here: therealpicture.org