Food obesity and health

Eat Local -Think Global seminar Thursday 8th March 10am – 4pm 2007

Mumtaz Restaurant, Great Horton Road Bradford BD7 3HS

Bradford was dubbed the obesity capital of the United Kingdom by Men’s Fitness magazine in 2006. Although the people of Bradford indignantly refute this it is true that the people of Bradford are getting steadily fatter. Like most of the UK. The local council Health Improvement Committee made a very detailed study of obesity in Bradford in 2005. There has been a lot done to tackle this problem – more than in most cities. Now seems a good time to consider whether there is more that could or should be done.

People of Asian origin are particularly at risk from diseases associated with obesity. This is one of the reasons we have chosen to discuss this topic in Bradford, and in the Mumtaz restaurant. The 8th March is International Women’s Day. It’s also the anniversary of the start of the Russian February Revolution (known as such because of Russia’s use of the Julian calendar) which began when riots and strikes broke out in St Petersburg over the scarcity of food. So it is a good day to talk about food.

Main speakers:

Heema Shukla, UK Public Health Association – Food special interest group

Andrew Hill, Professor of Medical Psychology University of Leeds:
Dr Ann Hobiss The School of Health Studies University of Bradford; Ann’s presentation (which she didn’t show us on the day)  Nutritional issues in Bradford’s children
underweight children by deprivation
Underweight children in Bradford

Over and underweight: Nutritional deficiencies – 363 children identified as Vitamin D deficient by opportunistic screening 2000 – 2004.  40% children under 4 in City PCT were anaemic

obesity by deprivation
Obesity in Bradford


Body Mass Index in Year 6 children


weight in ethnic groups
Ethnicity and Obesity in Bradford

What are children eating?

National Diet and Nutrition Survey (2000)

  • Irregular meal pattern
  • “Grazing” or snacking behaviour
  • Fat, sugar and salt
  • Processed foods
  • Carbonated /caffeinated beverages

Food Poverty and access to fresh food

  • Inequalities in amount spent on fresh fruit and vegetables by income and number of children in household
  • Inequalities in the amount eaten
  • Access to shops and use of car
  • Affordability
  • Skills and motivation

Health / Education Service-led interventions

  • Community development
  • Community skills and training
  • Community – led project support
  • Healthy Start:
  • Five-a-day
  • Healthy School Standards / Food in Schools
  • School Travel plans
  • Schools in Action

Scourge of the fizzy drinks:

purchase of soft drinks in Bradford 1975-2005
Purchase of fizzy drinks
  • Epidemiological evidence
  • Cohort evidence
  • Prospective intervention evidence
  • Clinical trial evidence

Proposed physiological mechanism regarding satiety

“The world is full of thirsty people. They satisfy that thirst approximately 50 billion times daily. Today, they reach for our beverages only 1.3 billion times. That’s our opportunity.”

Coca Cola Company Annual Review 2005

Cllr Mike Kelly and Mike Lodge, Bradford City Council

 Scrutiny of obesity and overweight in Bradford

Janette Westman Breastfeeding Coordinator Bradford and Airedale PCT

National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence (NICE) Clinical Guidance 43 on Obesity

Obesity guidance for Healthy Schools Coordinators and their Partners published by the Department of Health.

Tackling Child Obesity – First Steps Report by the Public Accounts Committee January 2007

Obesity Review Bradford City Council 2006

Health Select Committee report on Obesity May 2004

Healthy Eating in Schools

Big Matters