Inter Island Public Health Forum

Martin Knight

Martin Knight

Title of presentation: ‘A Food and Nutrition Strategy for Jersey.’

Diet-related disease is a leading cause of preventable death, and local data in Jersey shows that our population has not escaped this trend. We know that there are health inequalities in rates of obesity between primary school children in urban areas, and those in rural areas. We estimate that dietary risk factors cost our Islands wider economy in the region of £43 million. The aim of the Food and Nutrition Strategy for Jersey is to address these issues, and to reduce the impact of diet-related disease in our population.

The strategy is guided by principles to ensure actions are based on evidence of effectiveness, promote a life course approach, empower individuals and communities through health-enhancing environments, reduce health inequalities in achieving a healthy diet, and deliver actions through a multi-sector alliance. We have chosen to focus efforts on early intervention to address identified gaps in provisions for early years and primary school aged children, in light of evidence that this will achieve the greatest reductions in obesity and diet-related disease with our available investment.

The key programmes to commence from 2018 onwards include a local version of the Healthy Start programme, HENRY (Health, Exercise and Nutrition for the Really Young), a family weight management programme, and UNICEF Baby Friendly. This work will be complemented by supporting and growing local work in schools around cooking skills, growing programmes and breakfast clubs. An outcomes based approach will be used to monitor progress and success from service performance through to population level outcomes. This approach will fit the food and nutrition agenda within wider government priorities of health and well-being and help support sustained as well as new investment over the medium to long term.

The strategy was launched in July 2017 and has seen significant buy in from key stakeholders and service leads across government, private and community sectors. We would like to share our experience of the public health journey in generating support and securing resources that led up to the public launch of the strategy.