In simple biological terms, a person’s weight is determined by energy balance: to maintain a stable weight, energy input must match energy requirements, and alterations to this will result in weight loss or weight gain. However, in reality this energy balance is affected by a complex network of influences. A person’s weight is based on more than just their genetic makeup and simple conscious choices around what and how much they eat and exercise. Instead, we recognise that weight is also influenced by numerous factors beyond the control of an individual, including the accessibility of fast food, transportation, the impact of media and the wider determinants of health such as education income and employment.
Barnet’s approach to healthy weight therefore works across many different areas to enable residents to make healthier food choices and remain active for longer. Please see our vision statement below:
Those who are born, grow up, live, work and study in Barnet have every opportunity to adopt behaviours which support healthy weight maintenance. Barnet is a borough where residents are health literate and well-informed and where a healthy option is an easier option! This is delivered through mutual ownership and commitment across the borough. As a result, our collective actions optimise healthy growth and development, promoting active living, nutritious eating and psychosocial wellbeing.
Weight Management Care Pathways
The Barnet Healthy Weight care pathway maps out the weight management care journey that each individual patient, presenting in primary care, can be referred onto. It’s purpose is to simplify and streamline the referral process for primary care practitioners during consultations with people including; a breakdown of local services accessible without referrals; local services requiring referrals and their eligibility criteria; and advice on which private weight management services to recommend to patients who expresses an interest.
As part of the household approach taken to weight management, the children’s care pathway (neonatal-19 years old) and the adult’s care pathway (19 years old +) are designed to be viewed in conjunction with one another. In the Universal services* section within each pathway, there are hyperlinks which, when clicked, take an individual onto the appropriate webpage with further information.
*services which do not require a GP referral
Healthy Weight Survey 2018
Barnet Public Health released a public survey in late 2018 order to gain an insight into the public perceptions of healthy weight; including how to maintain a healthy weight, whose responsibility this is, and any challenges that may be faced in attempting to do so. The findings, in conjunction with a wider needs assessment, have been used to inform multiple council strategies. A summary of the findings can be found here.