Local Authority Declaration on Healthy Weight

The Local Authority Declaration on Healthy Weight presents the opportunity for local authorities to lead local action and demonstrate good practice in adopting a systems approach to promote healthy weight and overall good health and well-being in communities.
Developed by Food Active, the Healthy Weight Declaration is a strategic, system-wide commitment made across all council departments to reduce unhealthy weight in local communities, protect the health and wellbeing of staff and citizens and to make an economic impact on health and social care and the local economy.
As a consequence of signing the Declaration, there is more of a cognisance, an awareness of healthy weight and the issues around healthy weight.
Dr. Arif Rajpura, Director of Public Health, Blackpool Council

Background

The Health Equalities Group has over 12 years’ experience of working in tobacco control in the North West and this is regularly drawn on in the design and delivery of our healthy weight programme of work, Food Active.

Working with our public health and academic partners, we wanted to explore if there could be a Healthy Weight equivalent of the successful and well-regarded Local Authority Declaration on Tobacco Control. In 2014, Food Active invited Action on Smoking and Health (ASH) to give a presentation in Manchester around their own experience of local authority engagement. The conclusion was that yes, a Local Authority on Healthy Weight could work, and, after consultation with a number of local authority teams and other colleagues, the Local Authority Declaration on Healthy Weight was born and continues to gain recognition as a useful tool for local authorities to adopt a systems approach to promoting healthy weight.

Six years on, we carried out a review of the Healthy Weight Declaration and launched a set of revised commitments along with both refreshed and brand now support materials in July 2020. We have also worked with Public Health England to develop a joint narrative to highlight how the Healthy Weight Declaration can complement PHE’s Whole Systems Approach to Obesity, and referenced this as a new commitment contained in the updated version of the Declaration.

Benefits of adopting the Local Authority Declaration on Healthy Weight

  • Keeps healthy weight high on the agenda
  • Enables cross-departmental working, partnerships
  • Facilitates system leadership
  • Accountability to the council to exercise their responsibility in promoting healthy weight

Since its launch in 2015…

  • Dozens local authorities have adopted
  • Encompassing 4 regions of England
  • Mixture of unitary, district and county councils
  • NHS, Education, Sports, VCS and Private partners engaged
  • Included as best practice in two case study reports, including Local Government Association ‘Tackling Childhood Obesity’ Report and the Childhood Obesity Plan Chapter 2.

Explore the buttons below to find out more about which local authorities have adopted, what resources are available and all the latest news from this project.

More Information

For more information about the Local Authority Declaration on Healthy Weight please contact the Food Active team.

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