Congress / Workshop 5: Tackling the obesogenic environment

Workshop 5: Tackling the obesogenic environment: the role of planning, design and regeneration professionals in creating a healthier food environment


Facilitators: Shaleen Meelu, Public Health Nutrition Specialist, Public Health Birmingham and Co-Founder of Harborne Food School; Charlene Mulhern, Childhood Obesity and Public Health Engagement Co-ordinator, Public Health Birmingham

Synopsis: Childhood obesity is a serious public health concern across the country. In Birmingham, more than 38% of children aged 10–11 are either overweight or obese, putting them at high or even life-threatening risk of serious health problems including diabetes, heart disease and stroke. To make the situation worse, excess weight rates are higher in areas of multiple deprivation and amongst ethnic minority groups. As a super-diverse city that’s heading towards an ethnic minority majority population by 2030, Birmingham is a key battleground against this growing problem.

Co-ordinated action across society is required to tackle obesity, with professionals involved in the planning, design and regeneration of the urban environment playing a critical role in the creation of a healthier food environment.

This workshop will describe how public health nutritionists are working with planners, developers, transport planning professionals and others to change the obesogenic environment in Birmingham. This involves looking at what it takes to feed a city well and the potential impact of locally grown food in tackling ‘food insecurity’. Learn from specific pieces of work that have created a healthier food environment in Birmingham, including restricting the growth of hot food takeaways (and encouraging food outlets to offer healthier options) and promoting a ‘developer’s tool-kit’ designed to guide new city developments. The objective of the workshop will be to assist delegates to apply some of the lessons learnt in their own neighbourhoods, towns and cities.

This workshop will take place on the afternoon of the main Congress day – Friday 5 June 2015 – alongside other workshops. Book your ticket now to join us in Birmingham for our 10th Annual Congress, taking place over 4-6 June 2015.

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