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Northern Ireland Government launches public consultations on obesity issue

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A new survey has revealed that 65% of adults and 26% of children in the country are either obese or overweight

The Department of Health (DoH) is inviting the public to share their views on a new Regional Obesity Management Service and a new Obesity Strategic Framework.

A public consultation has been launched on the Healthy Futures strategic framework, which aims to prevent the harm caused by obesity, and improve diets and levels of physical activity of people.

The Department is also seeking views on its plans to introduce a new service that would focus on the introduction of specialist support, weight loss medication, and bariatric surgery to help people living with obesity.

Northern Ireland is seeing an increase in obesity rates, with the latest Health Survey NI data showing that 65 per cent of adults and 26 per cent of children in the country are either obese or overweight.

DoH Permanent Secretary, Peter May commented: “Improving people’s health will enhance their lives, as well as reducing the demand on our health and social care services, making us economically more productive and helping individuals and our population to become more resilient.”

The survey data has shown that obesity levels are consistently higher in those who are most deprived.

As a result, May has underscored the importance of taking “a whole system approach” to addressing obesity, as well as the need to address the wider social and economic determinants of health linked to deprivation and opportunity.

“It’s imperative that we take action now and I would encourage people to have their say on the proposed interventions,” she added.

Being obese can increase the risk of a range of health conditions including heart disease, stroke and type II diabetes, and reduce life expectancy.

The economic impact of obesity is estimated to be at £500m a year in the country, as stated by the department.

 

 

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