August 31, 2022 5.07 pm This story is over 22 months old

Obesity a “growing issue” in Lincolnshire as two thirds of county overweight

Over a quarter of reception pupils are overweight or obese

Health bosses will tell councillors that obesity is a “growing issue” in Lincolnshire, as more than two-thirds of county’s population are classed as overweight or obese according to public health data.

Reports before the Lincolnshire County Council Adults and Community Wellbeing Scrutiny Committee say 68% of Lincolnshire’s population come under the two categories, higher than the national average of 63%.

Data from 2019/20 found that in Lincolnshire just over a quarter (25.6%) of reception age children and over a third (36.4%) of Year 6 children were overweight. Again both above the England averages of 23% and 35.2% respectively.

The report next Wednesday, by Director of Public Health Derek Ward, said: “It is clear that obesity is a growing issue in Lincolnshire, across the nation and internationally.”

Among the reasons noted are the usual suspects of poor diet, a lack of physical exercise, income and social deprivation and ethnic differences.

It notes that “whilst local data is not yet available, there is no reason to believe that the profile of inequalities is different across Lincolnshire”.

The prevalence of overweight or obese children in Reception year.

The report calls on the council to target unhealthy behaviours and needs by moving prevention to the top of the list of priorities as well as poolling resources and reviewing the help given to people.

It calls on committees to further review and comment on licensing applications, as well as work with planning departments to promote green master-plans and active travel links.

“Overweight and obesity and the associated diseases are largely preventable,” said the report.

The prevalence of overweight or obese children in Year 6.

“Local environments and communities are fundamental to shaping people’s choices.

“Therefore, it is important to understand that for people to change their behaviour the healthy choices… and access to safe and open spaces to take exercise, are made the easiest choice.

“Local authorities are ideally placed to support this challenge using planning policies and strategies such as ‘Active Lincs’ to help promote healthier food and drink choices.”

However, it warns that it will require a joined-up, long-term approach.

Councillors will be recommended to note that LCC will commission a new service to promote Integrated Lifestyle Services and that work will be undertaken with the newly-formed Integrated Care System to develop a new approach.