Hospital to tackle a heavyweight problem

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Healthy food will be ‘more convenient and affordable’ at Blackpool Victoria Hospital after bosses there signed a government healthy weight declaration.

The number of sugary drinks will also be axed, while nurses and doctors will be told to set a good example by walking or biking to walk, munching on low calorie snacks during meetings, and drinking more water.

Deputy chief executive at Blackpool Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust, Tim Bennett, said: “The declaration specifically focuses on promoting healthy weight and means we will continue that work with a solid commitment to promote health and wellbeing initiatives in our facilities.

“We will also be continuing our campaign to give our staff more knowledge about the importance of leading a healthy lifestyle and creating a culture and ethos that supports healthy weight.

“The connection between obesity and life-threatening illnesses like heart disease, type two diabetes and cancer is now apparent according to research, and we are committed to working hard to make our staff and patients healthier.”

The charter was originally developed by Food Active, a programme funded by public health bosses across the north west in a bid to tackle the region’s bulging waistlines.

The trust said signing it shows its commitment to ‘reducing unhealthy weight’, and its goal of ‘protecting the health and wellbeing of staff, patients, and visitors’.

Coun Graham Cain, cabinet secretary for resilient communities at Blackpool Council, added: “We all know that it can be really hard to keep a healthy weight, and I congratulate the trust for doing all it can to support patients and staff to keep healthy.

“Last year, we became the first council in the country to adopt a declaration on healthier weight and we are pleased to be working with the council to make it easier to eat healthily in Blackpool.”

Last October, The Gazette revealed how three in four resort adults, and more than a third of 10 and 11 year olds, are now classed as overweight or obese.

Free gym and pool passes were handed to families who completed a 12-week course on how to eat healthily, while Year Six pupils were set to take part in a new Sports4Champions scheme, where they were due to learn about healthy eating and take part in sports.