200 employees from all areas of the Western Health and Social Care Trust (Western Trust) recently completed the ‘Choose to Lose’ 12 week work-based weight loss and healthy lifestyle programme, collectively losing almost 111 stone (704kg) and 10 metres from their waist lines – that’s the height of two giraffes!
Obesity remains one of the most important public health challenges facing Northern Ireland today. The latest NI Health Survey (2017/18) reports that 64% of adults are now overweight or obese; a figure that continues to rise. It’s well documented that carrying excess body weight not only increases our risk of developing high blood pressure, coronary heart disease, Type 2 diabetes and some cancers, but also impacts negatively on our mental health, wellbeing and self-esteem.
Zoe Fletcher, Western Trust Project Lead Dietitian with the Community Food and Nutrition Team commented: “Most staff members spend approximately half of their waking hours at work; therefore the workplace provides an ideal opportunity for educational and behavioural change, encouraging staff to look at their diet and health whilst being inspired and empowered by a network of friends and colleagues.”
Zoe added: “Positively, all staff that participated in the programme intend to continue the diet and lifestyle changes they made and all would recommend to their colleagues. Following such positive feedback, Choose To Lose for Trust staff will run again later this year. Details will be advertised via Trust Communications and TWIST West. Congratulations and well done to all who took part!”