Stakeholder insight interviews
One of the key work packages for Year 1 of the project was a stakeholder insight exercise conducted in two phases gaining valuable perspectives and guidance from 26 representatives from national and local health organisations (NHS and local authority), transport, housing, economic development, VCFSE organisations, large employers, emergency services and DWP.
Findings illustrated that the interviewees recognised the complexity behind prevalence of overweight and obesity in Cheshire and Merseyside and the determinants of health leading to these figures. To adequately address overweight and obesity, the balance needs to be shifted from treatment to prevention and to encompass health and well-being.
A majority of interviewees also wanted to see a focus on young people with regarding solutions to overweight and obesity, whilst there was also a consensus amongst stakeholders across all backgrounds to use and share data at sub-regional level to drive interventions more effectively.
Interviewees from the second phase of interviews recognised the role their own organisations (e.g. a Fire and Rescue Service) could play in addressing healthy weight, whether in the community or in the workplace, or through supporting the objectives of local public health teams.
Finally, and perhaps most importantly, stakeholders also highlighted how communications about overweight and obesity had to be consistent and avoid victim-blaming and the use of stigmatising language and imagery.