£5.5m to reduce obesity in Wales

Welsh Minister for Health and Social Services Vaughan Gething has announced an extra £5.5 million to back plans to halt obesity in Wales.

The funding will be used to support the Healthy Weight: Healthy Wales Delivery Plan 2020-22, which Gething launched during a visit to see a healthy eating project at a playgroup in Cardiff.

The £5.5 million is made up of: £4.1 million for health boards and partners to provide support services for adults, young people and families to maintain a healthy weight; £600,000 for a children and families programme to support healthy weight projects; £500,000 to be invested in a sport and leisure offer for over-60s; and £300,000 will fund grants for sports bodies and evaluation.

The delivery plan also sets-out a number of other cross-government projects under eight priority areas, including; helping Welsh food business develop healthy products; improve access to healthy food and drink within our NHS sites; increase drinking water stations; invest in cycling and walking routes; increase access to outdoor recreation; tackling barriers to reduce diet and health inequalities; healthy weight programmes for pre-school children; and include nutrition and healthy eating in the new curriculum.

Gething said: “Obesity ranks among the biggest public health challenge we face and I want Wales to be one of the first countries in the world to see a decline in obesity rates. To achieve this we need to see change in every part of our society and I want us to shape an environment where the healthy choice is the easy choice. We will work with people across Wales to enable positive change, starting with support in the crucial early years of life. I am visiting Tiny Tigers Play Group today to hear about the great work taking place with families and children to encourage positive food choices.

“This first delivery plan for our strategy, sets out what we are doing to support people of all ages across every part of Wales to make healthier lifestyle choices. Small changes in our everyday habits can bring significant, lasting health benefits for us all.”