Health across Gloucestershire is better than the national average, albeit it is recognised this is not evenly distributed and not everyone experiences good health. The growing issues of mental health, childhood poverty and obesity are highlighted in Gloucestershire County Council’s Health and Wellbeing strategy.
In some parts of the county, over 10% of adults experience hunger because they cannot afford of access food and that more than 60% of adults in Gloucestershire are overweight, with nearly half of those being obese. Two thirds of adults in the county are overweight and Gloucester has the highest level of childhood obesity in the South West.
Mental health is an area of particular concern across the farming community, where the rate and magnitude of change threatens livelihoods, and many feel alone and isolated. Gloucestershire has a higher-than-average ageing population bringing with it many associated health and wellbeing concerns.
The National Food Strategy provides compelling evidence that food and food behaviours are inextricably linked to health. Its recommendations highlight the damage to population health by the modern food system, referring to the British diet as a ‘slow motion disaster’. It furthermore considers eating well in childhood to be the foundation stone of equality of opportunity and essential for both physical and mental growth.