Gillingham FC host inaugural obesity summit at MEMS Priestfield Stadium

A special summit was held yesterday to discuss obesity in Medway and find new ways of tackling it.

Medway Council and Medway Health & Wellbeing Board staged the event at Gillingham’s Priestfield Stadium, with health professionals and community leaders in attendance, in a bid to find the right solution for Medway.

With obesity costing the NHS millions of pounds, the summit looked at ways to improve health and help reduce the burden on the public purse. 

It also looked at the often complex causes of obesity and the effect it has on people with a reduced quality of life through disability, loss of earnings and the knock-on effects such as increased demand on social care.

Obesity rates continue to rise nationally and locally. In Medway, almost 10% of children are obese by their first year of school, jumping to 20% by the time they reach Year Six. Adult obesity levels are estimated to be 30%.

Reducing obesity levels is one of the priorities of Medway’s Health and Wellbeing Board, and a number of parties were represented at the summit including Gillingham FC’s Community Trust. 

Head of the Trust Adam Lawrence commented: “Today’s event was a real success, with so many key partners in the room who were able to share ideas and discuss what we all do well, as well look at opportunities to work more cohesively. 

"We have a responsibility as a Trust to affect our community in a positive way, and our challenge is to be creative in order to engage more people.”

Adam was also invited to discuss the issue of Obesity on BBC South East News.  You can see what he had to say below.

Video courtesy of BBC South East Today