RSPH backs the consensus statement released today by Public Health England (PHE), to support public health professionals to have healthier weight conversations.

The consensus statement, developed by PHE with input from a number of organisations for the public health workforce, aims to help individuals and communities significantly reduce their risk of obesity, by equipping professionals with the skills to have healthier weight conversations.

The core principles of the statement include:

  • Promote a whole systems approach to obesity across organisations;
  • Support professionals through training to deliver messages around healthier weight, highlighting the importance of a healthy diet and physical activity, raising the issue of excess weight and signposting to available support when necessary and appropriate to do so;
  • Promote national parent, child and family facing resources to support families to take action towards a healthier weight and diet.  

Shirley Cramer CBE, Chief Executive of the Royal Society for Public Health, said: “We welcome this statement, as it is vital that the public health workforce is properly trained to have these sometimes difficult conversations. Obesity is a multifaceted issue, and by starting to have healthier weight conversations with the public we can begin to address some of the underlying causes. With rates of obesity, including childhood obesity, continuing to rise, the barriers of embarrassment and stigmatisation that often prevent people getting help must be removed. RSPH will embed these principles in the support we provide to the wider public health workforce.”

Eustace de Sousa, PHE’s National Lead for the life course and health inequalities, said: “The public health workforce have a crucial role to play in preventing and reducing childhood obesity. This consensus statement reflects a commitment from the Royal Society for Public Health and other collaborating organisations to halving childhood obesity rates by 2030, giving a core set of principles to support the workforce to have healthier weight conversations and help children to achieve and maintain a healthier weight.”