100 signatures reached
To: Rokhsana Fiaz, OBE. Mayor of Newham
Lets Make Public Health a Priority in Newham
We would like to request Newham Council to promote and fund community activities that lead to healthier habits in our families- such as hands-on cooking and fun physical activities in holiday lunch clubs or in pre-diabetes programmes. The insufficient priority given to public health in Newham, particularly in relation to healthy eating, has serious consequences for the health of our families.
Why is this important?
40 percent of premature deaths and the burden of disease is attributed to "behaviours" such as diet, physical activity, smoking and alcohol.
In Newham, with a high population of South Asian backgrounds, the focus on public health is even more important as diabetes is up to 6 times more likely in this population. The obesity and diabetes epidemic particularly affect Newham and we urgently need lifestyle changes programmes at community level, as recommended by the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence.
In 2013, the Secretary of State for Health Jeremy Hunt and the Chief Executive of Public Health England wrote to all the Chief Executives of Local Authorities to ask them to put people's health and wellbeing at the heart of everything they do. However, this has not taken place in Newham and we request it to change.
Our local community with Food Academy and with funding from Diabetes UK, British Heart Foundation and Tesco has been able to deliver 400 fun holiday lunch clubs in the last 2 years, involving 700 mothers and more than 1400 children. We have supported a public health prevention agenda with hands-on cooking and fun physical activities targeting obesity and diabetes in adults and children.
However, this type of public health work now requires promotion and funding from the local government and the local NHS for the benefit of our families.