8.1. The Board considered a report seeking endorsement of the East Sussex Healthy Weight Plan for 2021-2026, and the East Sussex Alcohol Strategy 2021-2026.
8.2. The Board asked whether the East Sussex Healthy Weight Plan put enough emphasis on physical activity, particularly community organised activities like dancing, or walking.
8.3. Darrell Gale, Director of Public Health, explained that the report contained a summary of the East Sussex Whole-system Healthy Weight Plan, which contained more detail. He agreed physical activity was integral to healthy weight and provided other benefits than just burning calories like improving balance and bone strength. Communal activities like walking also offer social benefits and can provide stimulation and purpose to people with dementia. Peter Aston, Health Improvement Principal, said the Plan had three priority areas developed with partners – Food, Environment and Physical Activity. The Plan aims to identify how these areas can be improved by building on what already exists in the system, so residents can improve their weight or be more active using readily available methods.
8.4. The Board asked whether the East Sussex Healthy Weight Plan should be more focused on mother and toddler groups, given the impact healthy lifestyles can have on young people’s weight.
8.5. Peter Aston said one of the action areas in the Food element of the Plan included working with acute trusts to ensure their Baby Friendly Initiative and some of its key messages such as ‘Wherever possible, Breast is best’ are supported and amplified across the county. The Plan also promotes the Healthy Active Little Ones programme, which involves working with early years settings, like nurseries, to help them obtain accreditation to show they are helping young people build and maintain a healthier weight. The Healthy Schools programme is also included and involves improving health outcomes for children in primary and secondary schools.
8.6. The Board asked about how hidden fat in food could be lobbied against.
8.7. Darrell Gale agreed that cheap food is cheap calories and the cheaper the more hidden salt, fat and sugar there tends to be. There is work nationally to highlight to food manufacturers the calories in their food. Locally the work is done with the district and borough Environmental Health teams, as much of the cheaper food is served by local takeaways. The Director of Public Health said that there are fresh food deserts in some areas of the county, where there is a lot of takeaways and few cheap healthy food options, including around schools.
8.8. The Board asked whether alcohol services also do targeted intervention in cases where domestic abuse is likely.
8.9. Darrell Gale said the commissioner for drug and alcohol services sits in the Community Safety Team in the Adult Social Care Department and works closely with the commissioning of domestic violence services.
8.10. The Board RESOLVED to:
1) Endorse the East Sussex Whole-system Healthy Weight Plan for 2021-2026 (Appendix 1);
2) Endorse the East Sussex Alcohol Strategy 2021-2026 (Appendix 2); and
3) Note the approach taken in the development of the whole-system healthy weight plan and the East Sussex Alcohol Strategy, and their priority areas for action.