Summary of report content
Healthwatch Leeds was asked by the LS25 & LS26 Local Care Partnership (LCP) to explore how Covid-19 has impacted the lifestyle of people living in the areas of Leeds covered by this LCP. The percentage of the population registered as obese is higher in this area of Leeds compared to the city as a whole and therefore tackling obesity is one of its current priorities. The survey was carried out during October and November 2020, with an aim of understanding how the pandemic had changed people’s attitudes and lifestyles, in order to inform the next steps required as a partnership to support those living with obesity. A total of 1693 people completed the online survey.
The survey, predominantly completed by White British (95%) people with enough digital access to complete an online survey, highlights the following key impacts of Covid-19:
- Isolation has increased mental ill health, particularly amongst younger people and has far reaching negative effects on the willingness and motivation to be active, particularly when walking, cycling, or running are the principal activities available.
- The changes that are taking place in lifestyle are quite small and whilst home cooking from scratch for example is increasing, so is the apparent increase in alcohol consumption though this is not easy to accurately assess as the opportunities for social drinking are reduced.
- Improving, appropriate, safe and easy access to both health and care services and formal exercise facilities are considered by the public to be the greatest opportunities for improving wellbeing and reducing obesity.
Healthwatch Leeds made 7 suggestions to address the findings of the survey, including what extra support people needed to adopt a healthier lifestyle, access to sport and leisure activities and groups, initiatives to promote cycling and walking, free or low cost support to lose weight, better access to GP appointments.