CHILDHOOD obesity rates in Wiltshire have remained steady against a rising national trend, health experts heard at a summit.

Working Towards A Healthier Weight saw council leaders, representatives from the county’s clinical commissioning group, Great Western Hospital and others including Virgin Care meeting at County Hall during Childhood Obesity Week with the aim of finding new ways to encourage people to keep a healthy weight.

Joint commissioning director at the CCG Ted Wilson said: “The summit demonstrated how individuals and organisations are working together to create an environment that supports a healthy lifestyle to generate long-term, sustainable change, and provided new ideas and solutions to address this global issue.”

Since Wiltshire Council and NHS Wiltshire Clinical Commissioning Group launched a joint obesity strategy in 2016 there has been a 4.9 per cent increase in adults aged 40-74 having their NHS Health Check.

The programme helps identify risk of cardiovascular disease and helps to highlight how lifestyle factors such as being overweight can contribute to these diseases developing.

Among the initiatives promoted by the strategy are the get Wiltshire Walking project which now has 2,400 registered walkers, attendance at community sports programmes has increased and more than 25,000 people have taken part in the county’s Big Pledge challenge to get active.

Initiatives to tackle childhood obesity included a six-week classroom healthy eating project, cut priced junior gym sessions and a healthy schools award. The council has also joined a national campaign to get people to cut their sugar intake.