Lowering rates of overweight, obesity and cancer in Cheshire & Merseyside
The Food Active team at Health Equalities Group were proud to assist Cheshire and Merseyside Cancer Alliance launch a new strategic level project addressing overweight, obesity and cancer on 14th July.
The overall aim of this new project is to fulfil a core remit of the Cancer Alliance: that of facilitator and system-builder. The project is acting as a ‘hub’ of connectivity, bringing together other system leaders and stakeholders from Cheshire and Merseyside to increase the overall volume and reach of initiatives designed to improve rates of overweight and obesity within the sub-region.
Chaired by Liz Bishop (CEO Clatterbridge Cancer Centre & SRO CMCA), the event attracted over 250 people and heard from 13 speakers through presentations and panel discussions, and launched a new system-wide network that will focus on overweight and obesity as modifiable risk factors for cancers.
The event draw attention to overweight and obesity being the second largest modifiable risk factor for cancers, and the higher prevalence of people living with obesity in Cheshire and Merseyside. Delegates heard from a wide range of speakers from national organisations, including Cancer Research UK and The Health Foundation, plus local stakeholders from both health and non-health sectors, including NHS Cheshire and Merseyside, Sefton Public health, Merseytravel, Onward Homes and Cheshire and Warrington LEP. Lived experience also features prominently as part of proceedings with a moving presentation from patient advocate Angela Chesworth, who discussed her experience of living with obesity.
Delegates were also given details on two pieces of initial research carried out by the project. Dr Robin Ireland from Health Equalities Group presented key findings from interviews concerning obesity and cancer prevalence with 17 stakeholders conducted between May and June 2022 (see presentation below). In addition, members of LJMU’s school of data science presented new quantitative research to develop correlation ‘mind maps’ that account for the statistical relationship between obesity, cancer and deprivation.
The next network meeting will be held in late October 2022, and delegates with be sent further details on how they can collaborate and impact on the aims of this project in follow up to the event.