Brent sees biggest drop in child tooth decay in London

Brent has seen the biggest drop in tooth decay in the capital, according to recent health figures.

The latest Oral Health Survey, which is published by Public Health England, shows there has been a 15.1 per cent decrease in the number of 5 year olds with tooth decay since 2012 – the biggest decrease in the capital.

Camden saw the second highest decrease of 12.8 per cent in the same period, whereas Newham saw the third biggest decrease of 10.7 per cent.

The significant decrease in Brent follows the decision to make children’s oral health a public health priority and the introduction of a series of council preventative programmes, including a school-outreach programme where children’s teeth are varnished with fluoride, encouraging regular dental check-ups of children from toddler age, and by rolling out a ‘Slash Sugar’ campaign warning of the damage sugary foods and drink can do.

Tooth decay is entirely preventable but the reality is that one in four 5 year olds have tooth decay in London. This has a huge knock on impact on a child’s long term future so it is crucial that we tackle the issue. This is why it is so important that we work with all partners and the public to improve child oral health in Brent.

The need for regular brushing, avoiding sugary snacks and drinks and the importance of regular dentist visits for children over the age of one is fundamental to prevention.

Although the large decrease is really promising, we know that there is still much to be done. We will keep working hard to educate children and their parents about preventative measures and healthy lifestyle choices to try and reduce rates of decay even further.

Taking a closer look at takeaways near schools to tackle childhood obesity rates

Brent Labour is proposing to radically limit the development of further takeaways near schools in a new bid to control the growing obesity epidemic in the borough.

The proposals, will prohibit any new takeaways within 400 metres of secondary schools or further education establishments, and will place a cap of six per cent on shop frontage for hot food takeaway in any town or neighbourhood centre.

The proposals are part of the council’s Brent Obesity Strategy developed in response to statistics from the Joint Strategic Needs Assessment (JSNA) for the borough of Brent showing 11 percent of under 5s and 24 percent of 12 year olds in the borough are obese.

Local residents will get the opportunity to have their say on the proposals in a full consultation process following the election period. If approved, the proposals could be in place next year.

Around one in four of our 12 year olds in Brent is obese, so promoting healthy eating is one of the most important things council and our partners can do.

These proposals will not only limit fast food outlets near schools, but will also place a cap on how many fast food outlets can be permitted in town centres

Controlling the number of fast food outlets directly addresses the link between obesity and availability of junk food. The aim is to encourage our children and other residents to make healthier choices and increase the diversity of retail and food outlets.

Labour is already doing a lot on this issue in Brent, such as offering free swimming to under-16s during school holidays, free tennis for young people, encouraging healthy lifestyles among families with young children. It’s not going to be easy but we are committed to doing everything we can to achieve these goals.

Diabetes among South Asian populations

Image representing Novo Nordisk as depicted in...
Image via CrunchBase

I recently attended an event hosted by Lord Patel at the House of Lords for the South Asian Community Diabetes campaign. I thought I would blog some facts that novo nordisk, the sponsors of the event unveiled.

  • People of South Asian origin are 6 times more likely to have type 2 diabetes
  • 2.9 million people in the UK have diabetes and know about it. Another 850,000 are unaware they have it.
  • Prevention is a vital investment for people who are at risk of developing type 2 diabetes. Early diagnosis and effective treatments are essential for people who have diabetes.
  • Up to 80% of cases of type 2 diabetes could have been delayed or prevented.
  • Diabetes costs the NHS £9 billion every year (around 10% of its budget)

Diabetes prevalence in Brent is higher than the national average and we will be focusing our efforts on this when public health partly transfers as an area of Council responsibility next year.