Obesity in Wales
An Obesity Epidemic
Obesity prevalence is rising in Wales,
as it is globally.
Those within a healthy weight category are dropping. 26.4% of children in Wales are overweight/obese compared to 22.4% in England and Scotland.
Reception age children are significantly more likely than the Welsh average to be obese, even more so if they live in areas of social deprivation and poverty. There is a 6% gap between obesity levels in the most deprived areas of wales which is Merthyr at a staggering 14,2% V’s the least deprived area which is Vale of Glamorgan at 7.1%
Education is now bridging the gap and will be at the forefront of shaping healthier individuals through the introduction of the new curriculum.
Concentrating on children’s physical, mental and psycho social well-being will have a widespread positive influence in changing children’s outlooks and giving them the tools to shape healthier lifestyles for themselves and the wider community, thus tackling the startling health risks and complications we all face form the rising obesity epidemic we see before us.
The New Curriculum
How is it bridging the gap?
Health and wellbeing will now be integral to the Welsh school curriculum.
Health and well-being encompasses the interdependencies of the physical, psychological, emotional, cultural and social dimensions which enable everyone to participate in life as best they can in an ever changing world.
Ambitious, capable learners can recognise how aspects of their environment, mind and physical state impact on their health and well-being and readiness to learn. They develop resilience, confidence and empathy in response to social, emotional and physical experiences and challenges. They seek new experiences and take ownership over their learning.
Enterprising, creative contributors express and explain ideas, thoughts and emotions. They demonstrate an understanding of how emotions may be experienced and externalised. They understand the importance of safety, learning how to recognise and manage risk and are able to seek help and support. They contribute to their communities. They can use creative methods in engaging with and addressing difficult issues relating to emotions and relationships.
Ethical, informed citizens make choices based on knowledge and values. They understand that choices can impact on the health and well-being of themselves and others. They have an understanding of their rights and have respect for the rights of others. They develop tolerance as a respectful member of society. They value and contribute positively to their physical and social environments.
They are able to engage with the wider social and ethical issues connected to Health and Well-being. Healthy, confident individuals understand how factors such as nutrition, substances and physical activity influence their health and well-being and are developing positive dispositions in respect of these to support informed decisions. They recognise that different environments and experiences impact on and influence their emotion. They are able to seek support and to manage these. They learn to develop positive relationships and recognise that their identity is linked to their health and well-being.
The five initial draft of titles for the strands of what matters or Key Concepts are:
1. Physical confidence and competence has considerable lifelong benefits to health and well-being or We experience the world through our body
2. Life experiences impact on our feelings, thoughts and physical state
3. Our decision making and subsequent actions impact on the quality of our lives and others
4. Our physical, social and cultural environments are connected to our health and well-being
5. Relationships connect us with each other and the world
(Health and Well-being AoLE: Submission to Curriculum & Assessment Group: December 2017)