THE FIGHT against child obesity in Warwickshire is being won.
According to Warwickshire County Council’s Director of Public Health Dr John Linnane’s annual report the number of obese 11 year-olds fell slightly over the past year – down to 15 per cent. The national average was 19 per cent.
The report also outlined success in relation to children and young people’s health and wellbeing including a decline in teenage pregnancy, and a reduction in the number of under 18s in hospital due to alcohol.
But the report also highlighted areas for improvement – noting two out of five Warwickshire’s children lacked academic and social skills by the end of reception.
There was also concern 13 per cent of women still smoked during pregnancy, that A&E visits for under fours were above the national average, and rates of self-harm in young people aged between ten and 24 was rising.
Dr Linnane said: “The recommendations and desired outcomes outlined in the report are everybody’s business and require a concerted joint effort if they are to be achieved. Giving every child the best start in life is crucial to reducing health inequalities across the life course.
“The NHS, schools, councils, parents and wider families all need to be working together to give children the start they deserve.”
County council health spokesman Coun Les Caborn said it was important agencies worked together to improve the health of the county.
Coun Maggie O’Rourke, chair of the council’s Adults, Health and Social Care Overview and Scrutiny Committee, added: “This annual report gives us a crucial insight into how public health is performing not only locally, but against the regional and national landscape.
“Warwickshire generally performs extremely well, but there are areas, such as breastfeeding and the number of women smoking at the time of delivery where I would like to see improvements.”