Statistics showing that adults in Enfield are getting slimmer have been given a cautious welcome by the Council’s health chief.
Enfield Council’s Cabinet Member for Public Health, Cllr Mahtab Uddin, said work still needed to be done after statistics from Public Health England showed the percentage of adult in the borough who were overweight or obese had fallen from 61.4 per cent in 2016/17 to 56.7 per cent in 2017/18.
It means Enfield has risen from being the 4th worst borough in London for prevalence of excess weight in adults to 12th worst.
Being obese can increase the risk of developing many potentially serious health conditions, including type 2 diabetes, high blood pressure, high cholesterol and atherosclerosis (where fatty deposits narrow the arteries), which can lead to coronary heart disease and stroke.
Cllr Uddin attributed the drop to a range of initiatives and activities in the borough, including healthy eating campaigns such as Sugar Smart, the council’s efforts to promote physical activity and efforts to encourage healthier behaviours through initiatives such as Cycle Enfield and the provision of Green Gyms in parks.
He said: “This is a testament to the hard work and dedication to Council officers and partner organisations across Enfield. It appears that encouraging behaviour change can make a real difference and we need to develop that approach further to ensure our residents continue to reap the health benefits.
“It is great news that adult obesity levels are dropping in Enfield but it is just the start of getting to where we want to be. We need to make sure we can maintain the improvement over the long term and ensure that everyone in Enfield adopts good habits and adopts a lifestyle that makes them as resistant to disease and serious health conditions as they possibly can.”
In addition to the work being done to encourage adults to adopt a healthier lifestyle, Enfield Council is also working with children and young people to encourage them to adopt healthier lifestyles which involves healthier eating and being more physically active.
Fifty six organisations across Enfield have already signed up the Council’s Sugar Smart campaign which has achieved a huge amount including reducing sugar content in school meals by a quarter, delivering Eat Better, Start Better training to child carers, and supporting many childcare settings to achieve the Healthy Early Years London award, a scheme by the Mayor of London to help reduce health inequalities.