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Healthy Weight Needs Assessment Survey (2023)

Consultation status Archived
Start date: 2023-05-17
End date: 2023-06-14
Results 2023-10-30
Category: Caring for Children and Families, Health and Wellbeing, Leisure, Parks and Countryside

Activity closed. Results published.

Healthy Weight Needs Assessment Survey (2023) Graphic


We want to review the health needs, specifically about healthy weight and physical activity, of local residents, as the latest data for West Berkshire suggests that 2 out of 3 adults, and 1 in 5 children in their last year of primary school are overweight or obese. This is not only happening in West Berkshire, but is a common pattern across the country.

Being a healthy weight has significant health benefits, e.g. you're less likely to develop diabetes, heart disease and some cancers. To better understand the challenges faced by individuals and communities, and what can be done to help, we need to update our Healthy Weight Needs Assessment. This will help us identify how we, alongside communities and partner organisations, can support more children, young people and adults in the district to be a healthy weight.

To carry out our Healthy Weight Needs Assessment we will:

  • Review existing data
  • Engage with local people
  • Analyse the 'need'
  • Make informed recommendations for actions

Why we want your views

It's important to hear from local people so that we have the information needed to inform future schemes and support programmes across the district.  

We'd like to know what can be done to help make reaching and maintaining a healthy weight achievable, whether the Covid pandemic and cost of living crisis has affected your or your family's eating habits, about your experiences with weight management services, if you've used one, and what can be done to encourage people to eat well and be more physically active.

How to take part

If you'd like to take part, please complete the online survey by midnight on Wednesday, 14 June 2023. It should take about 10 minutes.

If you have any questions about the survey, please contact Elisabeth Gowens, in our Public Health and Wellbeing Team

What happens next

All feedback will be collated and analysed, and will inform the final Healthy Weight Needs Assessment, which will be published on the Berkshire Observatory in autumn 2023. 

We will publish a link on this page once it is available. The needs assessment will then be used to help us to provide services to support children, young people and adults to achieve and maintain a healthy weight.

What you told us

We received 308 partial or complete responses to the Healthy Weight Needs Assessment survey aimed at members of the public living in West Berkshire.

Overall, most respondents said they were currently or had previously tried to lose weight. However, most respondents said that they were not aware of any local weight management support services. Some people said they had tried to access support services, but commonly cited barriers to accessing services were cost and location.

From the engagement we have done, there is indication that the following are strong influencing factors for the diets of both adults and children, that Public Health should pay attention to:
  • Ease of access and convenience around fast food
  • Financial barriers
  • Lack of knowledge

When asked what would encourage people to be more physically active in West Berkshire, the most popular responses were around:
  • Active travel
  • Community asset promotion (i.e. promoting the leisure centres)
  • Education

There was also a clear message that people want more holistic healthy lifestyle services, rather than services being focused on weight.

What we did

We’ve reviewed the feedback and analysed it alongside feedback we received from local healthcare professionals and local professionals working with children and young people. This feedback will form part of the Healthy Weight Needs Assessment, which is a document written by Public Health that assesses the health need of our population. This document will include quantitative data about overweight and obesity prevalence, causes and inequalities in West Berkshire, and will consider all of the feedback received from the surveys.

The final Healthy Weight Needs Assessment is currently being written and will be available on the Berkshire Observatory by 31 March 2024. The Assessment will include a set of recommendations for the Council to consider actioning, including where Public Health funding should be directed to.

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