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Barnsley

Barnsley, a town in South Yorkshire, England lies on the River Dearne and has a total population of over 72,000. Life expectancy in Barnsley is significantly worse than the rest of England and the gap between Barnsley and the rest of the country is widening.  “Fit for the Future” is the strategy to improve health and reduce health inequalities, delivered through a multi-agency city wide partnership. The programme combines initiatives to improve lifestyles and achieve policy changes and actions on the wider determinants of health, such as transport, planning, education, housing and employment. Barnsley is interested to exchange good practise with other cities, to see what works and how to strengthened action to improve health in deprived neighbourhoods.

Barnsley has the eighth highest risk of obesity in the country, reflecting the Borough’s high level of deprivation and culture of unhealthy eating and physical inactivity.  To halt the rising levels of obesity we need to address the obesogenic environment by improving the infrastructure for safe walking and cycling routes and develop active travel and transport plans.

At the same time we need to change individual behaviour so that people are eating a healthier diet and increasing their levels of physical activity.

To close the gap in life expectancy we need to focus on reducing coronary heart disease and reduce the prevalence of smoking.

Although a considerable amount of work is taking place more work needs to be done to support the general ageing population to have a healthier lifestyle which will ensure they enjoy a good quality of life and independence in their older years. Focus needs to be given to:

  • Increasing physical activity
  • Improving diet and nutrition
  • Reducing levels of obesity
  • Reducing smoking
  • Improving mental wellbeing
  • Preventing cognitive decline
  • Addressing issues of loneliness
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