Joyce Thompson, Chair, Dundee Healthy Weight Partnership.
Dundee Healthy Weight Partnership’s (DHWP) objective is to create the right conditions to help the people of Dundee eat more healthily and be more active to enable them to achieve and maintain a healthy weight. The partnership between NHS Tayside Public Health, Dundee City Council and Dundee Voluntary Action was formed in 2017 and is chaired by Joyce Thompson from Public Health.
The partnership together with Open Change, a Dundee based service design company co-designed an event: “Designing Healthy Weight in Dundee’ bringing together diverse expertise, experiences and approaches to create a healthy weight ‘movement’ in the City.
Over 100 people attanded from across the city and beyond - from senior policy makers in local government, schools active learning co-ordinators, to academics and commercial weight management organisations.
The aims of the day were to:
Reflect on our understanding of a ‘healthy weight’ and how to achieve and maintain this.
Understand the experience of people dealing with weight issues to help uncover good practice, gaps and overlaps in support.
Connect themes and initiatives across the city.
Develop values and messages that are owned and shared across stakeholder groups.
Foster ways of working that empower people to have honest conversations about healthy weight.
Acknowledge and obtain personal understanding and commitment to the objectives.
As the UKs only UNESCO City of Design - we took a ‘design-led’ approach to the day - listening to inspiring and informative talks from experts in the field: Professor Paul Gately, expert in childhood obsity, Dr Drew Walker Director of Public Health and Dr Laura Stewart NHS Tayside's Nutrition & Dietetic Service Lead for Weight Management and Diabetes.
We spent time out on the streets on a ‘service safari’ experiencing first-hand the barriers to healthy weight - and recognised how difficult making healthy choices can be.
The Chief Nurse for Scotland, Professor Fiona McQueen shared her personal experience of achieving a significant personal weight loss to lead by example.
Round table discussions brought new voices into the conversation - people and organisations who support behaviour change in different ways - from Dundee International Women’s Centre to App Developers to cooking classes for men with mental health issues.
The activities were designed to foster democratic conversations, help people step into the shoes of others and understand the complexity of people’s experiences over time.
People pledged to take action - from linking with other organisations to share resources and expertise, to disseminating their learning through their own networks to championing the Healthy Weight Movement in their own organisations.
We will be following up attendees at the end of November to discover what actions they have taken - and ask how Dundee Healthy Weight partnership can support and amplify their activities.
The Scottish Government's recent document 'A Healthier Future - action and Ambitions on Diet, Activity and Healthy Weight' provides opportunities for Dundee Healthy Weight Partnership to prepare a multi-agency Dundee response.
We will continue to develop our twitter conversation using the hashtag #dhwdnd - and we welcome all contributions. Please share your ideas and insights.