Throughout February, the Western Health and Social Care Trust (Western Trust) Health Improvement, Equality & Involvement Department in partnership with the Public Health Agency are promoting the ‘Extras’ campaign.
The campaign aims to raise awareness of obesity, its dangerous impact on our health and wellbeing and outline practical ways to address the problem.
With a staggering 62% of adults in Northern Ireland now overweight or obese, obesity is a significant public health problem (Health Survey Northern Ireland 2018/19).
Obesity can seriously damage health and affect quality of life. It not only increases an individual’s risk of heart disease, Type 2 diabetes and some cancers but can negatively affect mental wellbeing and self-esteem too.
It’s easy to gain unwanted weight – eating just an extra 100 calories per day more than your body needs can equate to 10lbs weight gain in 1 year! If this pattern continues, unwanted weight can creep on year after year.
Jemma Theobald, Health Improvement Nutritionist at the Western Trust explains: “We often overlook the ‘extras’ we eat every day outside of our main meals - those second helpings at dinner, the biscuits with every cup of tea, the nibbles while watching TV or the leftovers we can’t bear to throw out. Our dinner plates have also increased in size over the years, as has the amount of food we serve on them. All this ‘extra’ food adds up to weight gain.”
Jemma continues: “Excess weight will not disappear overnight, but the good news is that by cutting out these ‘extras’, any further weight gain can be stopped. The key to then losing weight and more importantly, keeping it off, is to make small and sustainable changes to both eating habits and lifestyle which will have a positive impact on health and wellbeing.”
Choose to live better today by:
- Eating smaller portions – for a guide to portion sizes click here (https://www.safefood.eu/Healthy-Eating/Food-Diet/Eating-In/Portion-sizes.aspx)
- Eat regularly – stick to 3 main meals per day and avoid nibbling in between. Avoid long periods without eating
- Make healthier choices - reduce your intake of foods high in saturated fat, sugar and salt
- Be more active every day
For more information and helpful tips, visit https://www.choosetolivebetter.com/