Obesity is one of the most important public health challenges facing Northern Ireland. The framework clearly recognises that obesity is a societal issue and that everyone must work together across Government, across sectors and across society to effectively tackle the problem.
Evidence gathered in the framework shows that, while weight gain is the result of a relatively simple energy imbalance, the causes that underpin changes to energy intake and expenditure are very complex and cover issues such as social and individual psychology, physiology, food production and consumption, individual activity, and the built environment. These factors, known as the ‘obesogenic environment’, need cross-sectoral and cross-government action to effectively change. In addition, many wider determinants of poor health (such as health inequalities, poverty, mental health, deprivation, and structural barriers) can also play an important role. A range of short, medium and long-term outcomes have been developed to address these factors based on a logic model approach.
The obesity prevention framework for 2019 – 2022 oversees the implementation and delivery of the outcomes, and to monitor progress against the indicators and targets. these are to reduce the level of obesity by 4% and overweight and obesity by 3% by 2022; and to realise a 3% reduction of obesity and 2% reduction of overweight and obesity in children by 2022.
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