Council chiefs have shown their support for the city's fight against obesity by increasing the range of healthy food and drink on offer at the Civic Centre.

Around 300 pledges were made by individuals and organisations following a major conference in Wolverhampton last November aimed at tackling a "ticking time bomb" facing the city.

Among them was a pledge by Wolverhampton City Council's Catering Team to increase the number of healthy options available at the refreshment kiosk at the Civic Centre.

As a result, the team has relaunched the menu to offer healthy breakfasts, fresh fruit, a new range of low fat sandwiches, special healthy "meal deals", low calorie salads, healthy homemade soup and baked potatoes.

Skimmed milk and sugar substitute sweeteners are now available with hot drinks, and the amount of confectionary on sale has also been reduced by nearly half.

Councillor Sandra Samuels, Wolverhampton City Council's Cabinet Member for Health and Wellbeing, said: "I am pleased that the council is taking the lead on tackling obesity in our city by making sure that we have a very good range of healthy meals and snacks to offer visitors and employees at the Civic Centre.

"I'd encourage other retailers to look carefully at the range of food and drink they provide to ensure that there are sufficient healthy options available."

The council is now seeking Healthy City Award reaccreditation for its catering outlets following the Platinum Health City Award in 2014, granted to organisations which provide healthy food choices for customers.

The Obesity Summit, held at Wolverhampton Racecourse in November, saw around 300 health professionals, businesses and community groups come together to join the fight against obesity in Wolverhampton.

With more than two thirds of adults in the city either obese or overweight - and an increasing number of young people following suit - the council brought together representatives from public and private sector organisations, health and social care providers, voluntary and community organisations and faith groups.

The delegates analysed the problem with the help of expert speakers before working together to make practical commitments to address the issue on either a local and city wide basis.

Around 300 personal and organisational pledges large and small have already been made all of which will, in some way, tackle obesity in Wolverhampton. They will also be used to help shape a strategy being developed by Wolverhampton's Public Health team to address the issue.

Councillor Samuels added: "Obesity is a ticking time bomb, and one that we, as a city, cannot afford to ignore.

"We want to make Wolverhampton a healthier place to live and work. The Obesity Summit was a tremendously important start, and it was heartening to see so many individuals and organisations make pledges about the changes that they will make to help in the fight against obesity.

"Each pledge, large and small, will make a difference."

  • released: Wednesday 28¬†January, 2015