Bristol City Council pledges to tackle one of the biggest health risks in the UK with a new approach to weight management.

Mayor Marvin Rees today (5 February) signed the Food Active’s Healthy Weight Declaration – a strategy, endorsed by health care organisations, designed to help people maintain a healthy weight by looking a wide range of factors which affect our waistlines.

Mayor Marvin Rees said: “Work is already taking place to make the city environment more health conscious and ensure healthy choices are on offer no matter where you live. Bristol’s ‘Going for Gold’ campaign – a city-wide effort to make significant improvements to the way we grow, buy and eat food in Bristol with a focus on sustainability was recently voted a City Office priority for 2020.

“While the Bristol Eating Better awards scheme is also encouraging Bristol’s takeaway and restaurant sector to offer healthier options with the goal of over 50% of fast food outlets in the city selling healthy alternatives by 2022.”

Where people live, work, shop, go to school and exercise all play an important role in weight management. As part of this new initiative, Bristol City Council has committed to taking action as a whole-city.

Rather than telling citizens what to do to maintain a healthy weight, the focus of the Healthy Weight Declaration is to create environments which make it easy for people – regardless of age, background, circumstance or where they live – to access affordable, healthy and sustainable food as well as an active lifestyle.

Councillor Asher Craig, Cabinet Member for Communities and Public Health, said: “Often there are many reasons why someone might struggle to maintain a healthy weight and it can be a very complex picture.

“There are many pinch points in our lives – whether it’s the vending machine you walk past every morning, the struggle to find time to exercise or how you react to stress. There’s no single solution so this needs to be on everyone’s agenda if things are to change.

“By joining up with other local authorities through Food Active’s work we now have a central focus for many different departments across the council to unite behind and can learn from expertise nationally.”

The Local Government Declaration on Healthy Weight is underpinned by 14 standard commitments, including – considering commercial partnerships, provision of food and drink in public buildings, supplementary guidance for hot food takeaways and infrastructure to influence active travel.

Bristol City Council is joining over 20 other local authorities in the UK who have signed the Healthy Weight Declaration since 2015.

For information on healthy eating and physical activity see https://www.nhs.uk/oneyou/for-your-body/ for adults, https://www.nhs.uk/change4life for families.