Barking and Dagenham council takes tips from New York to tackle obesity

The council is taking lessons from New York to tackle the borough’s growing obesity crisis.

In some wards of Barking and Dagenham, the rate of obesity in reception years has increased by as much as 10 per cent since 2006.

At a meeting of the Health and Wellbeing Board on September 17, director of public health Matthew Cole presented a report that outlined work being done to tackle the problem.

He noted the approach taken over in New York where the Mayor set up a task force that brought together different organisations and government departments which helped get everyone working on the same agenda.

Back in Barking and Dagenham, the council is holding an ‘obesity summit’ to bring together different partners.

Other priorities include encouraging more activities in the borough and offering incentives to residents when they sign up and achieve goals.

The Board will focus on its obesity work programme for 18 months after which progress will be reviewed.