New digital resource launched to help community organisations promote healthier weight to local populations: Why Weight Hub

A new digital resource has been launched this April to help community organisations across Sefton promote healthier weight. Developed by public health practitioners from the healthier weight programme Food Active, the new ‘Why Weight Hub’ has been designed to equip community organisations with greater understanding of living with overweight and obesity, how this is associated with both physical ill health and mental health, and how this can be attributed to people’s wider environments and circumstances rather than the choices individuals make.

The Why Weight Hub can be accessed at:

Prevalence of overweight and obesity (excess weight) has doubled in the last 20 years, with almost two thirds of adults living with overweight or obesity. In addition to contributing towards long-term conditions such as CVD, type 2 diabetes and osteoarthritis, overweight and obesity is also the second biggest cause of cancer in the UK. Development of the Hub is in direct response to scoping and insight work carried out by Food Active over 2023-24 as part of a new project funded by Cheshire and Merseyside Cancer Alliance.

A key learning point from this insight work was the enhanced role VCFSE organisations can play in raising conversations about healthier weight, delivering healthier eating and physical activity interventions, and helping to signpost individuals and families to local support services. A specific recommendation was to develop a ‘one stop shop’ digital resource for third sector organisations to enhance current work to address overweight and obesity in local communities.

The free to access Hub allows VCFSE organisation to download a host of resources, tools and guidance materials to help develop activities and environments promoting healthier weight, offering support for specific population groups e.g. older adults, ethnic minority groups, people living with disabilities etc. The Hub also considers the challenges of food insecurity for low-income populations and will signpost users to local organisations to support those challenged by food insecurity, and local services and initiatives across the nine places in C&M offering support for those interested in losing weight.

Food Active is working with the CVS organisations across Cheshire and Merseyside to promote use of the Hub by local community organisations, and has provided training for key members of staff to gain a better understanding of the complex range of factors that influence overweight and obesity.

Talking about development of the new resource, Matthew Philpott from Food Active said:

“We are really excited to be launching the new Why Weight Hub this Spring as we were aware that many VCFSE organisations wanted to access a ‘one stop shop’ resource that would help them to promote healthier weight through their own services. We wanted to develop a hub with localised information for our nine places across Cheshire and Merseyside, and host specific resources for specific population groups such as disabled groups, older age and specific faith groups.”