SUGAR SMART Redbridge takes aim at borough's high childhood obesity rates
Redbridge launched its SUGAR SMART campaign at Redbridge Town Hall on 8 January, with plans to work with leisure centres, businesses and early years settings to tackle obesity in the borough.
The borough's SUGAR SMART campaign builds on Redbridge Council's signing of the Local Declaration on Sugar Reduction and Healthier Food, allowing for the great work happening at the local authority level to be joined up with other settings, organisations and businesses doing their part to tackle overconsumption of sugar in the area.
Research from the National Child Measurement Programme has revealed that the borough is facing an obesity crisis. In Redbridge, one in ten (9.7%) 4-5 year olds are obese and one in 5 (23.5%) 10-11 year olds are classified as obese (NCMP 2015/16), which is above the English average. This problem is not unique to children, with three in five adults living in the borough overweight or obese.
Contributing towards this picture is the fact that residents consume less fruit and vegetables than the average Londoner.
The launch was joined by the members of the borough's Obesity Steering Group, including Councillor Mark Santos, Cabinet Member for Health and Social Care. Cllr Santos said:
To reduce sugar consumption in the borough we are working in partnership through the Obesity Steering group by offering residents the opportunity to increase their knowledge through things like healthy cookery classes, run by our Children’s centres.
Our leisure provider, Vision, has also rolled out a healthy vending initiative in three of our leisure centres which is ensuring that healthy options are available and actively promoted.
We are also working in collaboration with our Environmental Health colleagues to encourage fast food businesses to sign up to the Healthy Catering Commitment which aims to improve the out of home food offer.
Redbridge is the 6th london borough to join the SUGAR SMART campaign and is led by Redbridge Council.
SUGAR SMART is a campaign of Sustain and Jamie Oliver. It is the feature campaign of the Sustainable Food Cities network until mid-2018.