The Department of Health is inviting the public to take part in a series of events arranged as part of two public consultations on obesity.
Recently, the Department launched two separate public consultations on the development of a new Regional Obesity Management Service and a new Obesity Strategic Framework which both close on 16 February 2024.
Obesity is a complicated condition resulting from interlocking causes that vary with each patient, including genetics, nutrition, hormones, medication, environment and sleep. Living with obesity can reduce life expectancy, increase the risk of a range of health conditions including heart disease, stroke and type II diabetes, and can have a significant detrimental impact on mental health.
The Department is asking the public to share their views on a new Obesity Strategic Framework, ‘Healthy Futures’, which aims to create the conditions that enable and support people to improve their diet and participate in more physical activity and reduce the risk of related harm for those living with overweight and obesity.
Alongside the Framework, the Department is also asking for views on the development of a prototype Regional Obesity Management Service which will enable people living with obesity here to access treatment and specialist support that is not currently available to them, including weight loss medication and/or weight loss (bariatric) surgery, in line with clinical assessment of need.
Both the new Regional Obesity Management Service (ROMS) and Obesity Strategic Framework consultation documents are available on the Department of Health website Consultations | Department of Health (health-ni.gov.uk)
In addition to the online consultation documents, three joint Healthy Futures / Regional Obesity Management Service online consultation engagement events will be hosted on Zoom on the dates below. To book your place at your event of choice, please click the relevant link, which will take you to the Eventbrite booking site. There are 50 places available for each event, and a waiting list will be available once each event reaches capacity.
Event 1: 22 January 2024 – 2pm to 4pm
Event 2: 30 January 2024 – 10am to 2pm
Event 3: 31 January 2024 – 7.30pm to 9.30pm
An in-person engagement event will also take place at the Seamus Heaney HomePlace, Main Street, Bellaghy, on Tuesday 6 February. Again, there are 50 places available, and a waiting list will be available once the event reaches capacity.
Event 4: 6 February 2024 – 10am to 12 noon
Peter May, Department of Health Permanent Secretary, said: “Supporting and enabling people to improve their health and wellbeing is a key priority for the Department of Health. Improving people’s health will enhance their lives, as well as reducing the demand on our health and social care services, making us economically more productive and helping individuals and our population to become more resilient.
“The latest data shows that we are seeing increasing levels of people living with obesity in our population and that levels are consistently higher among the most disadvantaged in our society. This not only underlines the importance of taking a whole system approach to addressing obesity, but also demonstrates the need to address the wider social and economic determinants of health linked to deprivation and opportunity. It’s imperative that we take action now and I would encourage people to have their say on the proposed interventions.”
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