- In 2017/18, 19.5% of children in reception year were classified as either overweight or obese in West Sussex; this remains significantly below England (22.4%).
- Within West Sussex, Worthing had the highest prevalence of overweight and obesity among reception children (23.0%), whilst Horsham had the lowest prevalence (16.9%).
- 7.5% of reception children were classified as obese in West Sussex (lower than England - 9.5%). Prevalence of obesity was highest in Worthing (9.8%) and lowest in Mid Sussex (5.5%).
- Overall, a greater proportion of reception children in West Sussex were a healthy weight (79.7%), than England (76.6%).
- In 2017/18, 28.3% of children in year 6 were classified as overweight or obese in West Sussex.
- Within West Sussex, Arun had the highest prevalence of overweight and obesity among children in year 6 (32.1%), whilst Horsham had the lowest prevalence (22.7%).
- There has been little change in the prevalence of overweight and obesity for both reception and year 6 children in West Sussex.
- Prevalence of excess weight among reception children was lower in West Sussex than its nearest statistical neighbours (those local authorities most similar to West Sussex) combined. West Sussex had the second smallest prevalence of excess weight (Cambridgeshire has the lowest at 17.6%).
- For year 6, West Sussex has a lower prevalence of excess weight than its closest statistical neighbours combined and England.
- Prevalence of excess weight is greater for boys than girls. This difference is more apparent at year 6 than reception; this is similar to national data.
- As in previous years, we can see a link between overweight/obesity and deprivation. For children in year 6, prevalence of excess weight was 1.6 times greater for children living in areas of West Sussex that are among the most deprived compared with those living in areas among the least deprived.
- A 25% increase in the number of Be Food Smart packs distributed and a doubling of competition entries from 2016 to 2017.
- Development of an aligned marketing strategy between the library service and public health campaign calendar, to ensure coordinated and consistent public health messages throughout communications channels.
- Access to the libraries’ social media channels increased the council’s online reach to over 115,000 members of the public.
- This activity has inspired Change4Life to create resources specifically for libraries, which launched in early 2019 with a nutrition campaign (see below).
- Information on the range of Start4Life and Change4Life resources available to order and download.
- An activity book with fun ideas for teaching healthier eating messages to parents and children. Activities use the magic of storytelling, rhyming and counting to relay memorable healthy eating and dental health messages.
- what products should be included in any restrictions
- what age limit a ban should apply to
- whether sales of energy drinks from vending machines should be restricted
- whether there are any changes that would be more appropriate than a ban on sales to children or that could be applied as well as a ban.
- 24p per litre of drink if it contains 8 grams of sugar per 100 millilitres
- 18p per litre of drink if it contains between 5 – 8 grams of sugar per 100 millilitres
- Deliver consistent messages regarding Healthy Weight
- Use motivational interviewing techniques
- Ensure earliest identification of those at risk of becoming overweight and obese, with early intervention and appropriate referral to healthy eating programmes.
Quarter 3 - December 2017 Performance
NCMP Figures Published
NHS Digital published the most recent National Childhood Measurement Programme (NCMP) figures in October; these are the results for the 2016/17 academic year. In West Sussex, the number of children who are classified as obese in Year 6 has been consistently lower than the figures for England since 2006/07, and this remains the case for 2016/17.
In Year 6, 28.6% of children in West Sussex were classified as overweight or obese, a decrease from 2015/16. 70.3% of Year 6 children were classified as healthy weight, higher than the prevalence for both the South East and England. This percentage is higher than the previous three years, and the percentage of children classified as healthy weight for Year 6 has been consistently higher than England since 2006/07. 70.3% places West Sussex at green compared to target. The prevalence of obesity was lowest in Horsham (10.2%) and Mid Sussex (12.2%) but highest in Arun (19.8%).
The prevalence of children in Year 6 (derived from the postcode of the school) classified as overweight and obese combined, as a percentage.
A newChange4 Life campaign launching in January 2018 aims to help families choose healthier snacks. It will introduce the new simple tip of “Look for 100 calorie snacks, two a day max”
Quarter 2 - September 2017 Performance
Eat Right Stay Bright ( ERSB) is delivered to schools in West Sussex as part of the school meal contract with Chartwells. It aims to increase uptake of the school meals and impact upon obesity rates and the attainment gap between the most advantaged and disadvantaged. It is a Fun in to Food programme tackling nutrition education with a whole school approach.
The first year of the programme in West Sussex has seen 32 schools engage with ERSB with 68 different workshop sessions run. Twelve schools have had repeat visits. Approx 1,904 children have taken part in the workshops and parent events have also been held 57 times.
Feedback from the workshops in one school is below.
Reception Teacher – ‘We in particular had a very positive experience for one boy who has an issue with eating that comes with associated health issues. He was happy to try some of the fruit and salad that he previously has not wanted to try. As a whole class we were very proud of this achievement and he received a 'wow' moment certificate to take home to his mum with photos of what he had done that day. We feel he was happy to try these foods as it was done in a relaxed and fun manner. He has now been a little more willing to try more new foods in class at snack time.’
Reception Teacher – ‘The children had a lovely time with yourself and your colleague learning about healthy eating and the opportunity for some food tasting. This was a lovely experience for the children to try a variety of fruit or salad that they may not have tried before.’ -
Year 2 Teacher – ‘It’d be wonderful to have you in again for a different topic with the children. I know that many in my class do struggle to eat the vegetables but they also only know about the typical vegetables. They wouldn’t know what a rhubarb is for example and it seems such a shame.’
Parent – ‘I’m actually really surprised that these contain that much sugar. Why is it allowed? My husband will be horrififed.
The Eat Right Stay Right workshops in West Sussex support the county’s sugar reduction programme.
Year 5 Pupil– ‘I think I eat too much chocolate after Easter I want to try stopping eating it but I will have all my easter eggs’. After discussion with the ERSB coordinator and classmates the child opted to try giving up chocolate for lent.
Year 5 Teacher–‘It’s great to teach them all about what can happen later on in life with heart disease and diabetes. They often just think about the effect on their teeth because it’s something they can physically see and probably have seen on children their age.’
Year 6 Pupil– ‘My dad drinks this quite a lot (Monster Energy Drink) and it’s twice the amount of sugar he’s allowed. I’m going to tell him’.
Year 5 Pupil– ‘You said tomato ketchup was really sugary; is it worse than these drinks?’ ERSB coordinator encouraged the pupil to look at the labels of his bottle at home..
Teaching Assistant– ‘I have one of those milkshakes in my fridge. I might throw it out now’. Future conversations with TA revealed the children reminded the TA to throw out the drink.
Living Streets deliver Walk Once a Week programmes in schools in West Sussex. They have a list of schools to target, that fit with the West Sussex Strategic development sites, plus public health priority areas. 5 out of 10 new primary schools are enrolled to WOW, the year-round walk to school challenge.
Chidham Parochial Primary
Ashurst Wood Primary, East Grinstead
Durrington Junior School
Sheddingdean Primary, Burgess Hill
Heene Primary School, Worthing
…all if which are on the targeted list of expanding schools, or have works scheduled. Four of these schools have launched and are using Travel Tracker to log their daily journeys to school.
3 street audits are planned, 2 of them with Parklands Residents Association in Chichester, a large housing estate with around 1,500 residences, on the edge of the city centre with 2 primary schools, a secondary school, an NHS doctors surgery and a parade of shops within its boundary. We will run 2 audits, at different times of year, and are talking to Bishop Luffa School, Parklands Community Primary and Central School about their potential involvement in the audit process. We hope to simultaneously involve residents around the estate who will undertake their own ‘street scale surveys’ to ensure that the audit process is as inclusive and holistic as possible. The Residents Association will then be able to map the results to inform priorities for the estate. This will be a trial approach for Living Streets and will be very interesting to see the outcomes and how it can evolve.
Quarter 1 - June 2017 Performance
Sugar reduction programme - Further sugar reduction has occurred in the school meals provided through the Chartwell contract and they now contain 65% less sugar than they did two and a half years ago. In total 30,000 West Sussex children per day are benefiting. The daily sugar consumption has reduced from the 18.5g to 6.6g per child.
1. The Executive Child Obesity Task and Finish Group (TFG) which completed in March 2017 made a number of resolutions including:-Develop a County Council charter supporting signup to the national healthy rating of schools scheme, including a local award scheme to encompass all West Sussex nurseries, schools ( including special schools), looked after children,children and family centres and including leisure centres where appropriate.
2. That when they become available, the national guidelines for implementation of healthier food in leisure centres are provided to the Cabinet Member and guidance and support is offered to the District and Boroughs, as commissioners of leisure, to help this sector achieve these standards.
Quarter 4 - March 2017 Performance
NHS Digital published the most recent release of the NCMP in November 2016. These results are for the 2015/16 academic year.
In West Sussex 30.4% of year 6 children are measured as overweight or obese. 1.1% of this age group is underweight, resulting in 68.5% of children being a healthy weight. The percentage of children with a healthy weight is higher in West Sussex than England. There is no significant difference between these figures and those of 2014/15.
This places us at amber compared to target, at year end, as predicted at the start of the year.
Final figures from the specialist service (Weight Management Centre) for 2016/2017 are as follows
2. Just over 80% completed the programme and 48% maintained or reduced their BMI.
Change4Life Be Food Smart Campaign
West Sussex Public Health Directorate supports the national Change4Life campaign, which launched Be Food Smart in January. This campaign highlights the surprising amount of sugar, saturated fat and salt found in everyday food and drink.
Horsham Junior Citizens Event
Members of the Public Health Team and Horsham Wellbeing led ‘Be Food Smart’ Challenge, at this event which took place in early April. The annual event aims to teach essential life skills to over 1200 primary school children aged nine to eleven years old who attend schools within the Horsham district, through a number of fun and thought-provoking scenarios.
The Weight Management Centre has continued to deliver Alive N Kicking weight management programme to children and young people throughout the year. To date 140 families have engaged with the programme, with half of them reducing or maintaining their weight. The majority of referrals into Alive N Kicking continue to come from the school programme STOP, and school nurses.
Testimonial from a mother of a young person who attended Alive N Kicking
"Since attending the Alive n Kicking programme I have found that as a parent I have noticed a huge difference in my daughters personality. Before the course she hated school and was bullied due to weight related issues. She seemed so unhappy I took her to the Doctors because I thought she may be depressed. Since regular exercise and losing some Weight there has been a massive difference in her behaviour at school and at home. It seems like a weight has been lifted, she has more enthusiasm towards exercise, eating and even going to school. She used to lay around and didn't want to leave the house now it's hard to keep her indoors! This has also had a knock affect into my life as a mum, I am much happier. My daughter is happy after what seems like a lifetime! Alongside side helping her I have also done extremely well and losing 6kgs in 8 weeks and I would highly recommend this programme to any kids suffering from being overweight, she has lost 2kg."
Be Food Smart
The Public Health England (PHE) BE Food Smart campaign launched nationally on 3rd January 2017, with the news stories that children are eating more than half of their daily sugar intake in their breakfast.
The campaign feedback from PHE showed that 115 new registrations from West Sussex were logged onto the Change4Life website during the campaign period. 24,051 emails were sent from Change4Life to West Sussex residents with an average 12.8% open rate. Further changes to primary school meals provided by Chartwells have resulted in more sugar being removed.
Promotion of the Public Health England Sugar Smart campaign has increased the awareness of the messages around sugar reduction, and advice on lower sugar swaps. Additional school based sugar reduction debates have occurred in the Chichester District.
A pilot 6 week weight management programme for children with special educational needs and disabilities has run in Mid Sussex. At the end of the programme the fitness level of the young people had increased. weight had been maintained, and they were reporting changes that they had made to their food intake.
Educational sessions to primary care staff from Coastal West Sussex CCG have been delivered by the public health team on identification of overweight children and young people. The team also delivered a sugar reduction display in the market place at the same event attended by over a hundred professionals.
West Sussex Public Health and County Catering won an award for their poster presented the national Public Health England Conference in Warwick early September for their work on reducing sugar in school meals. To date the equivalent weight of three London double decker buses of sugar has been removed from West Sussex primary school meals in the last 20 months. This work is continuing with Chartwells- the school meal provider.
Being overweight as a child increases the risk of being overweight as an adult. It also can affect a child’s health, ability to take part in an lively life and school performance. To help children and families think about their diet and being active there is help and support available in West Sussex. Tried and tested programmes which provide an effective way to manage weight and encourage adopting healthier habits for life are funded by West Sussex County Council.
For further information call the WhyWeight helpline on 0300 123 0892.
National Child Measurement Programme data provide a proxy for population prevalence of healthy weight, overweight and obese in two school year groups and are refreshed annually.
The national Child obesity action plan was published in August 2016. It identifies 14 actions for national or local progression. https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/childhood-obesity-a-plan-for-action. It places a lot of emphasis on the role of schools to promote physical activity and healthy eating.