Join the Great Weight Debate


Residents in Hackney are being encouraged to share their views on how children in the borough can be supported to lead healthier lives as part of a new London-wide conversation on childhood obesity.

Hackney Council has joined with other councils and NHS organisations across London to launch the Great Weight Debate – a London conversation on childhood obesity which is asking residents to complete a short survey on what changes they think will make it easier for people to make healthy choices.

London has more overweight and obese children than any other global city, including New York, Sydney, Paris or Madrid. It also has a higher rate of obesity than anywhere else in the country with more than a third of all children in London overweight or obese by the time they leave primary school.

Evidence shows the environment in London makes it much more challenging for families to make healthy choices. There is a widespread availability of cheap, high calorie foods 24/7, portion sizes are larger, unhealthy food is marketed to children and city environments can discourage walking and cycling. Things need to change so it is easier to make healthy choices and harder to make unhealthy choices.

The Great Weight Debate aims to make residents in Hackney more aware of these challenges to lead healthier lives while also feeding back their own ideas for changes that can be made at a community and London-wide level.

Cllr Jonathan McShane, Cabinet Member for Health, Social Care and Devolution
We have an obesity crisis in Hackney despite the Council launching various initiatives to get residents more active. We are also working with schools, early years settings and families to instil healthier habits and working with fast food businesses to ensure they commit to healthier food options. Combating those things that lead to childhood obesity is a huge task but with the Great Weight Debate, residents can join a London-wide conversation about how children’s lives can be made healthier while also suggesting what else the Council can do tackle the issue.
Cllr Jonathan McShane, Cabinet Member for Health, Social Care and Devolution

In Hackney the rate of childhood obesity is higher than across London, both when children start primary school and when they start secondary school. A quarter of Hackney children are overweight or obese when they start primary school, a figure which rises to more than two fifths when children start secondary school.

The Great Weight Debate is just part of the work the borough is doing to make sure children have healthier lives. Hackney offers a wide range of services to support children and their families to live healthier lives, from community based fitness and cooking courses, to school based programmes and weight management support. More information about Hackney’s free weight management support and other healthy lifestyle services for residents can be found via the website.

The Great Weight Debate survey takes five minutes to complete and can be found by clicking here.

More details about childhood obesity and the Great Debate can be found on the Great Weight Debate website.

You can also join the Great Weight Debate on twitter using the hashtag #greatweightdebate or you can email your views to: greatweightdebate@gethealthy.london