Children’s Weight Management Strategy

Closed 30 Sep 2019

Opened 2 Sep 2019

Results expected 29 Oct 2019

Feedback Updated 18 Dec 2019

We Asked

We asked for your comments on the draft of  the Public Health ‘Children’s Weight Management Strategy’, which sets out some of our local ambitions and visions that intend to prevent and reduce levels of overweight and obesity on our Island, focussing our efforts on the youngest members of our community.

The Children’s Weight Management Strategy consultation has been developed across a number of themes, including improving the food environment, transforming the accessibility and availability for physical activity in the local environment, and encouraging and enabling healthier lives. We asked for your thoughts on how we make be able to improve these environments to make a step change to prevent and reduce obesity levels across the island.

Your comments we welcomed, and a review of the overall feedback is below.  The feedback will help inform our final strategy and implementation plan.

You Said

Creating an environment where it is normal and easy for us all to eat well and be physically active can make a significant difference. These nudges in our behaviours start in the places we live, shop, eat, socialise and travel, including in our nurseries and schools. We want to support making the healthy choice the easy choice.

Here’s what you said about the food environment on-island.

Of the 150 responses received, only 2% of people were unable to access healthy food, with an overwhelming 90% of people being able to have access to healthy food, and 7% responding “occasionally”.

Homes and work were considered mostly healthy environments, where as “entertainment” venues such as cinemas/theatre, sports facilities, clubs and cafes and restaurants were considered more “unhealthy” in most cases.  School was an even split between those who believed that the access was to healthy or unhealthy food.  Interestingly, those who were “Primary school parents” believed on balance that the meals served were healthy, as a split of 59% to 41%. “Secondary school parents” split was the opposite, with 58% responding that the food choices available were “unhealthy” as opposed to 35% who thought they were healthy.

Barriers to healthy eating in most establishments was thought to be due to a lack of healthy options available,  with the high cost of the more healthy options being too expensive being an issue for 20% of the respondents. The top suggestions for making food more appealing in these environments were:

  • Wider range of healthy choices
  • Make healthy options cheaper than unhealthy alternative

Here’s what was said about access to physical activity environments.

87% of people feel it is easy for them to be active in the area in which they live.  Those that found it most difficult to be active were those who had pre-school children.

There was a wider spread of ideas to overcome barriers towards physical activity, which include improved footpaths, traffic management, better cycling infrastructure and more gym class options.  When asked how can we make it easier for our children and young people to be more physically active on-island 12% said there were already enough opportunities. 14% suggested subsidised facilities and 11% suggested indoor facilities.

We asked, in your experience, what do you think are the main factors that prevent children from achieving and maintaining a healthy weight, and are there any key actions you want us to focus on?      

The top 5 barriers you told us were:

  • Parent behaviour/habits
  • Lack of support/education
  • Technology
  • Lack of activity
  • Promotion and availability of unhealthy food

And the top 5 actions were:

  • Education/support - of parents and children
  • Healthier options in schools, cafes, etc.
  • More exercise in schools and nurseries
  • More/low cost activities
  • Cheaper fruit and veg

We Did

Public Health held a Healthy Weight Summit on the 29th November, and invited key stakeholders together to consider their roles in the wider system to help combat increasing weight of our population.  This was led by Dr Nick Cavill, a specialist in whole systems approach working for public health improvement.

We presented the public opinion from the consultation hub to the stakeholders, and asked for any further feedback on the draft strategy from a work perspective from those at the Healthy Weight Summit.

The feedback will be received and collated, and the final strategy document will be available in early 2020.  The implementation plan will follow, which will be across government and beyond.  This will be made public.   

A further update will follow with the final draft and implementation plan with timings, accountability and costs outlined.

Published Responses

View submitted responses where consent has been given to publish the response.

Overview

In the Isle of Man, many of us are struggling to achieve and maintain a healthy weight. We are seeking feedback on proposals for a Children’s Weight Management Strategy, in particular your views on what will work to prevent and reduce children’s overweight and obesity in the Isle of Man and what opportunities or barriers there are to maintaining a healthy weight. We know that obesity is one of the most preventable causes of ill health and premature death, and we need to take effective action now.

Why We Are Consulting

This survey on the ‘Children’s Weight Management Strategy’ sets out some of our local ambitions and visions that will help to prevent and reduce levels of overweight and obesity on our Island, focussing our efforts on the youngest members of our community.

Creating an environment where it is normal and easy for us all to eat well and be physically active can make a significant difference. These nudges in our behaviours start in the places we live, shop, eat, socialise and travel, including in our nurseries and schools. We want to support making the healthy choice the easy choice. 

The Children’s Weight Management Strategy consultation has been developed across a number of themes, including improving the food environment, transforming the accessibility and availability for physical activity in the local environment, and encouraging and enabling healthier lives. We want to think about how we can really help to make a step change to prevent and reduce obesity levels across the island.

We welcome your feedback on all of these themes, and will use your comments to shape the final version of the strategy and implementation plan. 

Obesity is preventable, not inevitable.

What Happens Next

Public feedback will be considered and brought to an Obesity Summit, where a variety of stakeholders will be invited to engage and prioritise the actions from the final version of the strategy. The whole systems approach to obesity will be used as a framework for prioritisation. 

Areas

  • All Areas

Audiences

  • All residents

Interests

  • Public Health
  • Health