In the ten years since the seminal Marmot Review, health inequalities have widened and improvements to life expectancy have not only stalled, but declined for the poorest in society. These inequalities have been brought into sharp focus during COVID-19 with BAME communities and deprived groups disproportionately impacted by the pandemic. With the NHS acknowledging that “COVID-19 has shone harsh light on some of the health and wider inequalities that persist in our society”, Policy Foresight is holding a series of timely live webinars to examine the response and recovery to COVD-19 in relation to three of the key health inequalities facing the UK: Obesity, Adult Mental Health and Long Term Conditions (LTCs).
The first live webinar of the series will examine the growing obesity crisis. Almost two-thirds of adults in England are living with significant excess weight, with the prevalence of obesity highest amongst the most deprived communities. Public Health England evidence confirms that being overweight remains one of the biggest risk factors of ill-health, hospitalisation or death. Furthermore, the World Bank released a comprehensive study of global data in August 2020, which shows that obesity increases the risk of death from COVID-19 by nearly 50% and could make any potential vaccine less effective.
Recognising the need to take urgent action, the Department for Health and Social Care launched an ambitious Tackling Obesity Strategy. To deliver this both nationally and locally, the government will expand specialist support and healthy weight management services, encourage healthier food choices, restrict high fat, sugar and salt food (HFSS) promotions and ban their advertisement before 9pm as well as rollout the Better Health campaign to encourage behaviour change on a population level.
This timely Policy Foresight live webinar will examine the response and recovery to COVD-19 in relation to the link between health inequalities and obesity. This event provides an opportunity for key partners from the NHS, local authorities, public health, third sector and other statutory agencies to examine the government’s Obesity Strategy and explore innovative solutions to tackle obesity, promote preventative measures and empower people to live healthier lives.
Resource - February 2020: Health Equity in England: The Marmot Review 10 Years On
Resource - 27th July 2020: Tackling Obesity: Government Strategy
Latest News - 25th July 2019: Health matters: whole systems approach to obesity
Latest News - 27th July 2020: Major new campaign encourages millions to lose weight and cut COVID-19 risk
Latest News - 7th September 2020: New voluntary calorie guidelines to help industry tackle obesity
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