TWO thirds of the adult population in Solihull is either overweight or obese, according to a new report.
Solihull council released their Public Health Annual Report for 2016/17 assessing the health of the borough’s residents.
Obesity and the long term health issues associated with this represent a significant issue for the borough.
Along with two thirds of the adult population, one in five reception children and a third of year six children are overweight or very overweight.
It indicates a dangerous trajectory for gaining weight as you progress through life in Solihull.
The report states: “There are a number of risks associated with being overweight, including heart disease, type two diabetes and
certain types of cancer.”
It also reveals that levels of diabetes in Solihull are increasing at a more “rapid rate” than in England overall.
Diabetes can be type one or type two. Although both result in higher than normal levels of sugar in the body, type two can be associated with a person’s lifestyle, including having an unhealthy diet.
More worrying figures project almost half of the adult population of Solihull are not eating the recommended ‘five-a-day’ of fruit and vegetables.
And the report also shows around half of the adult population of Solihull are not doing the recommended 150 minutes of physical activity recommended for health per week.
The report claims “social, economic and environmental factors all have an important influence on people’s lifestyle choices.”
It adds: “Many of these factors may be beyond an individuals control and can often make it more difficult to make ‘healthy’ lifestyle choices.”
Solihull council has introduced an initiative called the ‘five ways to wellbeing’.
These ‘ways’ are a set of evidenced based actions designed to provide ways for individuals to improve their own wellbeing.
The report has a focus on behaviour change, strengthening communities and early interventions. It concentrates on the environment as a key indicator of future health and well being.
Predictable trends are indicated with poorer health most often associated with the comparatively impoverished north of the borough.
Coun Karen Grinsell, Solihull’s cabinet member for Adult Social Care and Health, said:
“I welcome this report from our director of public health. It tells us that the health of Solihull residents is generally good and is getting better; people are living longer, healthier lives.
“However, there are challenges – good health is not consistent across the borough.
“Preventable and premature deaths, life limiting illness and disability are issues that our population still experiences.
“Obesity and physical inactivity are also of concern. These are influenced by lifestyle choices and many related factors, including genetics, the environment, social and cultural.
“This means one solution alone will not be effective, which is why the Council is looking at all the things that could help to tackle obesity and physical inactivity.
“For example we have recently been awarded funding from Sport England to improve physical activity in areas of Solihull where we know it is most needed.
“Solihull council is working closely with health and community partners to develop local services that address the health and wellbeing needs of all Solihull people.”