Greater Manchester mayoral candidate Andy Burnham met some of the people working to help the region lose weight and be more healthy as a major campaign is launched to put obesity in the spotlight.
The Leigh MP spent the morning with lifestyle coaches from ABL Health – which carries out weight management services on behalf of councils and CCGs in Greater Manchester – and residents whose lives they have helped to change.
They are spearheading The F Word campaign, which will be raising the issue of obesity across the North West in 2017 and dropped into his Leigh constituency office to explain more.
Dr Sheena Bedi, Chief Executive of ABL Health, said: “Obesity is the biggest public health crisis facing the UK.
“The number of people living with illnesses caused by obesity – diabetes, heart disease and cancer – continues to increase significantly and the financial burden on the already-stretched NHS continues to rise.
“It is crucial that this issue is brought to the table and tackled head on.”
Former Labour Secretary of State for Health Mr Burnham said: “Swift action needs to be taken to ensure that this worrying trend is turned around. Obesity and the conditions it causes are escalating, costing the NHS millions of pounds every year.
“We need to see Government and industry leaders coming together to take some real action to support people in leading healthier lives, improve the public health of our country and ensure a better future for the next generation.”
The meeting took place ahead of a high-profile panel discussion ‘The F Word – How does Manchester tackle the rising tide of obesity?’ taking place tonight in Manchester as the first stage of the campaign kicks off.
Panellists will include Dr Bedi; David Regan, director of public health at Manchester City Council; Loretta Sollars from Public Health England; Louise McErlain from Manchester Fayre; Laura Street from Kellogg’s and Dr Paul Wilson from Salford University.
Join the debate by following @ABLHealth #TheFWord on Twitter. For more on the work of ABL Health visit www.ablhealth.co.uk