Forge Segment Overview
A well-balanced diet is directly beneficial to our health and wellbeing, helping us to maintain a healthy weight and prevent serious health problems such as cardiovascular disease, diabetes, dementia and some cancers. In the UK the highest risk factors for ill health after tobacco are a poor diet and being overweight. Overconsumption of foods high in sugar, fat and salt is a major contributor to diet related ill health including obesity and tooth decay.
Unhealthy weight is a consequence of poor diet and inactivity and is a serious and worsening public health problem. It increases disability, disease and premature death and has substantial long term economic, wellbeing and social costs.
Due to a number of complex social reasons people from lower socio-economic groups are more likely to have a poor diet and thus experience the consequences of this more intensely. These inequalities lead to poorer health and social outcomes.
A culture of healthy eating benefits society through reduced school absence, improved school attainment, increased self-esteem, mental health, employment and work productivity, reduced health and social care costs and reduced environmental impact .
Along with nutrition, food plays an important role in supporting mental wellbeing. It gives us pleasure; often plays a central role in how we socialise, share and celebrate and connects us to friends, family and culture. The more often people eat with others the more likely they are to be satisfied with their life and feel engaged with their local community.
The primary objective of our work is to improve wellbeing and therefore reduce the negative health consequences associated with poor diet, including obesity. It will also seek to narrow health inequalities by focussing efforts towards lower socio-economic groups.