£5.5m announced to tackle obesity in Wales

Posted on: 6th February 2020

An important part of our work at the British Liver Trust is campaigning and raising awareness of liver disease and its risk factors – one of which is obesity.

In Wales, where almost a quarter of adults are obese, we’ve been attending public engagement events, lobbying the Government and working in partnership with other organisations such as the Wales Obesity Alliance.

Our team in Wales welcomed today’s announcement from Vaughan Gething AM, the Welsh Assembly Minister for Health and Social Services, of an extra £5.5m to tackle obesity in Wales. The money will be used to support the Healthy Weight: Healthy Wales Delivery Plan 2020-22.

Angie Contestabile, Public Affairs and Engagement Manager (Wales) at the British Liver Trust, said: “We are delighted to hear about this much-needed funding to help tackle obesity in Wales. Being overweight is a key risk factor for non-alcohol related liver disease – a condition which is likely to overtake alcohol as the leading cause of liver disease in Wales in the next few years.” 

What’s in the plan

The £5.5m is made up of:

  • £4.1m for health boards and partners to provide support services for adults, young people and families to maintain a healthy weight
  • £600,000 for a children and families programme to support healthy weight projects
  • £500,000 to be invested in a sport and leisure offer for over-60s
  • £300,000 will fund grants for sports bodies and evaluation

The plan also sets out a number of other cross-government projects that include:

  • Helping Welsh food businesses develop healthy products
  • Improving access to healthy food and drink within the NHS
  • Increasing the number of drinking water stations
  • Investing in cycling and walking routes
  • Increasing access to outdoor recreation
  • Tackling barriers to reduce diet and health inequalities
  • Healthy weight programmes for pre-school children
  • Including nutrition and healthy eating in the new school curriculum

Liver health and obesity

Obesity is a major cause of non-alcohol related fatty liver disease (NAFLD). People who are obese are at higher risk of developing NAFLD, which, if left untreated, can eventually lead to advanced fatty liver disease, cirrhosis and transplantation.

Maintaining a healthy weight and eating a healthy diet are two of the best ways to reduce the risk of NAFLD.

If you’re concerned about your weight and the impact it’s having on your liver health, you can take our online Love Your Liver health screener to see if you could be at risk.