Health and Wellbeing

Devon County Council becomes first SW council to sign the local authority declaration on healthy weight

Posted on: 7 October 2019

Devon County Council has become the first council in the South West to sign a Local Government Declaration to promote healthy weight across the county through improved food and drink provision.

Devon County Council Cabinet member for Public Health, Roger Croad, signed the declaration in front of fellow council members and officers at County Hall in Exeter today (Monday 7 October).

By signing the declaration, the council is showing a commitment to reducing the number of people who are overweight or obese in Devon by helping residents to make better choices. The declaration includes a series of pledges that the local authority will make to help improve access to healthier food and drink options across its own organisation and across the county.

Developed by North West based Food Active, the declaration was first adopted by Blackpool Council in 2016 where it has been shown to have made a positive impact on policy at local authority level.

In a recent survey of members of the public in Devon, most of which were parents, 72.5% of respondents said that their main concern was the effect of food and drink on their child’s dental health, with many having additional concerns about the impact on their child’s weight, behaviour and mood.

The negative impact of high-sugar diets on young people in Devon can clearly be seen in communities, with 1 in 5 children now starting school with tooth decay and the same number living with excess weight.

Devon County Council have been working towards local pledges for the declaration including making water freely available across its sites, encouraging schools to sign up and be Sugar Smart, banning the advertising of junk foods on its campuses and encouraging responsible retailing by supporting the voluntary ban of energy drinks to under 16-year olds.

Photo of Councillor Roger Croad

Councillor Roger Croad

Councillor Roger Croad, Cabinet member for Public Health, said;
“We all know how difficult it is to make the right choices when we are surrounded by unhealthy food, the wrong advertising messages and when sugary drinks are cheaper than water.

“I am proud that Devon County Council are making this commitment to improve the healthy, lower sugar food options available to residents in Devon and working with food businesses to achieve this.”

1 comment on “Devon County Council becomes first SW council to sign the local authority declaration on healthy weight

  1. Devon Mummy says:

    There is tangible, peer reviewed, scientific evidence to show that breastfeeding reduces obesity, yet very little funding for breastfeeding support in Devon.

    Why are DCC not providing adequate funding for something so crucial, that could save the NHS millions of pounds each year?

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