A balanced diet and appropriate levels of physical activity are important for good health. Poor nutrition and physical inactivity are two of the leading causes of ill health in Wales and contribute to conditions such as obesity, coronary heart disease, type II diabetes and cancer. The effects of diet and physical activity on health often interact, co-ordination and integration of nutrition and physical activity policies and programmes, where appropriate, is therefore essential.
Physical Activity and Nutrition Networks Wales
The Networks aim to identify, engage and support individuals and organisations across Wales in collectively improving the health of the people of Wales by enhancing the physical activity levels and nutrition of all.
Public Health Wales has four statutory functions:
The Networks are co-ordinated by a small team, consisting of a Network Co-ordinator for Nutrition and a Network Co-ordinator for Physical Activity, managed by a Principal Public Health Practitioner and overseen by an Advisory Board.
In 2007 the Physical Activity Network for Wales and the Nutrition Network for Wales formed an alliance. This was in recognition of the strategic direction, specifically the Food and Fitness 5 Year Implementation Plan: Promoting Healthy Eating and Physical Activity for Children and Young People in Wales
(Welsh Assembly Government, 2006), which stated that:
“The Welsh Assembly Government is moving towards the integration of nutrition and physical activity policies and programmes where appropriate. This recognises the fact that the effects of diet and physical activity on health often interact, particularly in relation to obesity.”
From that date the Networks worked more closely together on cross cutting issues. Their management structures were combined with one Advisory Board and annual work plan.
In addition, on 1st February 2008 the Physical Activity Network for Wales website and the Nutrition Network for Wales websites were merged and enhanced to form one single website www.physicalactivityandnutritionwales.org.uk and a joint e-bulletin produced. This website aims to link with and support all those individuals, organisations and sectors with a role to play in improving nutrition and levels of physical activity in Wales. Network members include representatives from academia, the community, education, Government, healthcare, industry, local government, the media, public health and the voluntary sector. From this website you can access and share with others, information relating to nutrition and physical activity. From the website you can access information on the latest news and events, research and evaluation, policies and strategies, target groups, campaigns, community initiatives, sources of funding, workforce development and much more.
Please explore the website and if you have information that you would like to share with others email firstname.lastname@example.org
Specific aspects about the alignment of the two networks were considered in the evaluation carried out in 2009. It found that it had no effect on the use of the Network for 57% of respondents or a positive effect for others. For the positive responders many felt it was an encouraging development that related information was now in one place, for some members it was logical given the work is inextricably linked and for others it represented an opportunity to learn about the other sector and draw links to their own work.
If you would like to become a registered member of the Nutrition Network for Wales and/or the Physical Activity Network for Wales please complete the registration form.
Last updated: 02/10/2012