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User views

Background papers: Lifestyle and wider determinants :: Healthy weight :: Obesity :: User views

Resident and potential service user views are particularly important when designing and implementing new services. A recent example of this is shown in the re-design of the childhood obesity/family weight management projects, which conducted a large piece of insight work in 2014. Views of overweight children and young people, their parents, and healthcare professionals were collated. A combination of qualitative and quantitative data were collected, and resulted in a list of recommendations for the service to follow. This report identified eight barriers to professionals referring to and families accessing weight support services. Five area were recommended for change:


• Having the conversation about weight with clients
• Promoting service and facilities
• Re-framing the healthy weight issue
• Streamlining systems for consistency
• Devolving power to residents


In addition to service design insight, Medway Public Health ran a survey in 2016 and 2017 to hear from residents on how to help more local people achieve a healthy weight. In 2016, 740 people responded, sharing a range of views and ideas. The main points repeated most frequently were that we need to demonstrate how healthy eating can be achieved. Specifically, showing that it can be:


• Easy - giving people the skills, knowledge and ideas
• Quick
• Affordable - proving it can be cheaper than processed food or takeaways


Respondents were also clear that you must promote healthy eating and exercise together, and emphasis that the combination is important.

In 2017, the survey focused on male residents as they were under represented in the 2016 survey. Forty men from Medway took part in semi-structured interviews about their views and priorities with regards to healthy weight. In addition, we ran a survey that was completed by 213 males living in Medway. The following 7 areas for action were put forward:

1) Target the priority groups.
2) Give clear messages: Clearly define the key healthy weight messages for the different target markets.
3) Get the message across: Identify the most effective locations and communication vehicles through which to spread healthy weight information.
4) Educate: Develop and provide education and resources for residents.
5) Facilitate: Be a facilitator to help people have healthy lifestyles by creating opportunities and removing barriers.
6) Promote: Medway has many amenities and opportunities to help residents achieve and maintain a healthy weight, however we found a lack of awareness of what is available in parks, events, clubs, facilities, where to buy healthy food, etc.
7) Change the mindset: Look at encouraging a change of mindset and attitude.