City-level interventions: civil society organisations

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Guy’s & St Thomas’ Charity

We’re an independent, place-based foundation. Our purpose is to work with Guy’s and St Thomas’ NHS Foundation Trust and other partners to improve the health of people in the London boroughs of Lambeth and Southwark.

Policy extract: In this ground-breaking report, we explore the issue of childhood obesity through the lens of urban, diverse and deprived environments. We take a detailed look at the evidence on behaviour change, which reinforces the need to consider the role our surroundings play in driving unconscious decision-making. We draw on the experiences of families living in inner-city London as well as gather insights from data and learnings from interventions on the ground. And finally, we hear from a wide range of experts, who offer their perspectives from working with children and their families at a local, national and international level. See more

Royal Town Planning Institute (RTPI)

RTPI is a membership organisation and a Chartered Institute responsible for maintaining professional standards and accrediting world class planning courses nationally and internationally. RTPI is a charity whose charitable purpose is to advance the science and art of planning (including town and country and spatial planning) for the benefit of the public.

Policy extract: This paper describes the scale and pace of urbanisation around the world, the health and wellbeing issues experienced by urban populations, and the environmental factors that shape these issues. To plan healthier cities for all, we need to recognise that cities have environmental characteristics – both physical and social factors – that can promote or harm health. Conditions such as obesity, chronic heart disease, stress and mental health are intricately linked to the environments in which people live and work. See more

Obesity Health Alliance

The Obesity Health Alliance is a coalition of over 40 leading charities, medical royal colleges and campaigns groups working together to share their expertise and support the Government in tackling the complex issue of overweight and obesity in the UK. The goal of the Obesity Health Alliance is to prevent obesity-related ill-health by addressing the influences that lead to excess bodyweight throughout life.

Policy extract: The human costs of obesity are well known. Being overweight or obese significantly increases the risk of devastating, but largely preventable diseases, including, type 2 diabetes, cancer, heart and liver disease, stroke and related mental health conditions. But spiralling rates of obesity is far bigger than just a health issue. See more

Sustain

Sustain: The alliance for better food and farming advocates food and agriculture policies and practices that enhance the health and welfare of people and animals, improve the working and living environment, enrich society and culture and promote equity.

Policy extract:  This is London Food Link’s fourth Beyond the Food Bank: London Food Poverty Profile report. It tracks what London’s 33 councils are doing to improve household food security, which according to accepted definitions means helping residents to ‘feed themselves and their dependents adequately, healthily and without anxiety’. Our report focuses on 10 policies that are within the influence and control of local councils, which if acted on will improve health and reduce inequality across the capital. Data for the report has been collected via a questionnaire which assesses the level of activity by boroughs on each of these measures. 23 councils responded to our questionnaire. See more

Policy extract: London Food Link is the voice for good food in London and since 2002 has run projects and campaigns to help create a better food system for all Londoners. This report is a key part of our work, showing how local authorities are addressing some of the major issues or levers for change at the borough level, while ensuring that healthy, ethical and sustainable food remains firmly on the political plate. See more

Sustainable Food Cities

The Sustainable Food Cities approach involves developing a cross-sector partnership of local public agencies, businesses, academics and NGOs committed to working together to make healthy and sustainable food a defining characteristic of where they live. The Sustainable Food Cities Network helps people and places share challenges, explore practical solutions and develop best practice on key food issues.

Policy extract: Veg Cities is a feature campaign of Sustainable Food Cities, led by food and farming charity Sustain in partnership with the wider Peas Please initiative. The aim of Veg Cities is to increase availability and consumption of vegetables. Food partnerships and local authorities can achieve this by working with a range of local businesses and organisations, from convenience stores to schools and local markets, in six different areas. The Veg Cities handbook is to support Veg City partners – those running local campaigns across the UK. See more

Kaiser Permanente

Kaiser Permanente was founded on the radically simple idea that everyone deserves the chance to live a healthy life. That’s why you can find high-quality care and coverage in one place. As a member, you are at the center of everything we do – from pioneering new ways to treat cancer to building useful tools that make it easier to stay on top of your health.

Policy extract: This report describes one organization’s response to one such crisis – Kaiser Permanente’s (KP’s) Community Health Initiative (CHI) addressing the obesity epidemic. This report uses the evaluation findings to answer several key questions relevant to the initiative itself: What was the impact? What was the return on investment? But also, importantly, what are the learnings that can be applied to future work in obesity and to work addressing other current and future crises. See more