In line with the rest of the UK, the population of Bristol, North Somerset and South Gloucestershire (BNSSG) has high levels of overweight and obesity.
Obesity is associated with an increased risk of type 2 diabetes, heart disease, cancer, depression and premature death. Obesity and its complications cost the NHS around £6 billion a year.
In the last 40 years, the prevalence of overweight and obesity has increased dramatically in line with our changing environments. Unhealthy food is inexpensive, abundant, accessible and highly marketed, and people’s jobs are more sedentary. Where people live, and the quality and accessibility of healthcare, education and employment is related to the prevalence of obesity.
Obesity is significantly more common in the most deprived areas, and within some ethnic minority communities.
Aims of the HIT
The Healthy Weight HIT brings partners together to improve research on preventing and treating overweight and obesity that will then support system-wide decision-making. It aims to contribute to improved strategies to reduce overweight and obesity, and to improved efficiency across the health and care system.
The HIT will work across four themes and three cross-cutting themes:
- Implementing and evaluating systems approaches.
- Improving weight management pathways and practice.
- Evaluating health optimisation policies.
- Using big data to predict health outcomes and evaluate interventions.
- Addressing weight stigma.
- Focusing on vulnerable populations.
- Focusing across the life course.